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Kasese fish mongers protest harassment

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th October 2010 03:00 AM

A group of fish mongers in Kasese, Kabarole and Bushenyi districts have complained about mistreatment by the fisheries ministry enforcement officers.

A group of fish mongers in Kasese, Kabarole and Bushenyi districts have complained about mistreatment by the fisheries ministry enforcement officers.

By Chris Mugasha

A group of fish mongers in Kasese, Kabarole and Bushenyi districts have complained about mistreatment by the fisheries ministry enforcement officers.

In a letter to Kasese resident district commissioner signed by over 150 fish dealers, they accused the officers of extorting money from them.

They wondered why the operatives could not carry out operations on the lakes, where illegal fishing is done.

“Why do they wait in Kasese to impound fish got from Kalangala, Masaka and Rakai. They are not saving our lakes. Instead, they are waiting along the highways,” the letter read.

The mongers also want the fisheries ministry to clarify the operations of some two enforcement officers.

In their complaint, which was copied to Kasese district authorities, the fish dealers alleged that the two officers threatened to confiscate their fish if they did not give them money.

They also accused the officers of declaring less fish than what they impound and staging fake check points.

“We, the people of Kasese district, are loyal to the Government and to the Ministry of Fisheries. But we are requesting the ministry to deploy genuine officers, not the two officers, who have become a problem to us,” they said.

Eric Nadiope, who is in charge of regulations, said the ministry had been deploying enforcement officers to eliminate illegal fishing.

Nadiope said Kasese needed urgent attention because it was one of the transit routes for immature fish smuggled to the DR Congo.

Nadiope refuted the allegations that officers sell off the impounded fish. “The fish dealers will always complain because they know they are selling immature fish. They run away when their fish is impounded instead of going to court to defend themselves.” he said.

Kasese fish mongers protest harassment

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