ALBERTINE REGION, UGANDA: Fishermen in the Albertine Region have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Fisheries Protection Unit – FPU’s attempt to use the impounded fishing equipment during their operations on Illegal fishing on Lake Albert.
The commenced operations on Illegal fishing at Lake Albert in August this year targeting illegal nets, small boats among others in Butiaba, Wanseko, Bugoigo, Kaiso, Nkondo among other landing sites in the Districts of Hoima, Buliisa, Kikuube, and Kagadi.
According to the fishermen, the engine boats that were impounded by the FPU are again used by the officers in their operations yet they are supposed to be kept as exhibits.
They add that even the motorcycles which were impounded while transporting premature fish are now being used to transport the FPU operatives.
Fishermen are now wondering as to why the FPU operatives are utilizing these exhibits yet the government had given them enough equipment before commencing the operations.
John Opaki a fisherman at Kijangi landing site in Hoima District says his motorcycle was arrested while carrying premature fish but he has seen it several times being used by the FPU operatives.
“I show these officers last week two times riding my motorcycle which was impounded for carrying premature which I think it is not right for an army officer to use an exhibit during operations”. Opaki said.
Robert Mujuni the fishermen’s chairperson at Kaiso landing site in Hoima District says his boat engine was impounded by the FPU Officials but now it’s being used for transporting the FPU Officials during operations.
Fred Wobusobozi also a fisherman at Butiaba landing site in Buliisa District says it’s unlawful for the FPU Officials to use exhibits during their operations.
“This matter need thorough investigations because it is Illegal to use the impounded equipment in operations”. Busobozi said.
However Lieutenant Dick Kaija the commander in charge of FPU denied the allegations saying; “This is a true lie, our officers are having everything needed to carry out operations effectively and so they can not use exhibits in their activities”.