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Tanzanian pirates kill four Ugandan fishermen

By Simon Masaba, Michael Odeng

Added 8th June 2016 07:12 PM

The attackers were armed with pangas and sticks

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The attackers were armed with pangas and sticks

In what seems like a retaliatory attack, Tanzanian pirates have murdered four Ugandan fishermen.

According to Police, the deceased were fishing near Ukerewe Island in Muleba district, in Tanzania.

In May 2015, three suspected Tanzania pirates on Migingo Island were gunned down by Uganda Marine Police officers in a foiled robbery.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said that a group of six Ugandans travelling on two boats while fishing near Ukerewe Island were attacked by a group of people armed with pangas and sticks.

Enanga identified the deceased as Boy Kikambi, 20, Isaiah Zziwa 40, Gerald Matovu, 30 and Godfrey Ssemwanga, 50. They were killed at around 3:00pm on Friday, last week.

While addressing journalists at the Police headquarters in Naguru, Enanga said that Vincent Kaggwa and Denis Ssenkima managed to escape.  

“The attackers jumped into the boat which was being used by four Ugandan fishermen, beat them to death and threw their bodies into the water” Enanga said.

However, the bodies of the said fishermen have not yet been recovered and the attackers took their boat together with its engine and the fishing gear.

A preliminary police report revealed that the act to attack the fishermen has annoyed most of their Ugandan colleague who are said to be planning a revenge attack.

When contacted, the deputy marine commandant Michael Walwanga could not give details. “Am not in office to give you details,” he said.

Musa Kiberu, a fisherman at Ggabba landing site has called upon government to urgently liaise with their counterparts in Tanzania to have the bodies of their colleagues retrieved and brought back to Uganda.

They also urged authorities from the two sister countries to hold meetings in a bid to find a peaceful way of conducting business on Lake Victoria to avoid deadly clashes likely to ensue between their nationals.

In May last year, three of the six suspected pirates, all Tanzanians nationals were arrested after a foiled robbery on Migingo Island, Lake Victoria.

Enanga said the three suspects were arrested and charged over aggravated robbery before they were sent on remand at Kirya Remand Prison in Jinja district.

He identified them as Maria Giliriki (30), Jack Paul Nicholas (40) and Brian Mashare (35), all residents of Musoma in Northern Tanzania.

The dead were identified as Emmanuel Karupente and the two others only identified as Kasim and Ndaro.

Before the shootout, Enanga said that the Marine Unit responded to a distress call from fishermen after the assailants who attacked the Migingo had held a store keeper at gun point.

Preliminary police investigations indicate that the store keeper was alone at his work station when gunmen raided, targeting fish nets, motor boat engines, cash and fish.

The marine police is said to have fired shots in the air, only to be shot at by the thugs, prompting the shoot-out. 

"The pirates poured petrol on water and set it ablaze in a plot to stop the marine police from engaging them and leave room for escape but all was in vain," Enanga said.

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