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Museveni vows to punish FPU over extortion, entrusts locals to manage fishing sites

President Museveni greets NRM party leaders at a rally at Amatiburu Primary School in Kangai Sub County, Dokolo district March 19, 2024.

Dokolo, (UG):- President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to remove the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) from managing water bodies and entrust local elders in the fishing communities with the responsibility going forward.

The President while addressing supporters at Amatiburu Primary School in Kangai Sub County, Dokolo District on Tuesday called upon the people in the fishing communities to report soldiers extorting money from fishermen to ensure accountability and discipline within the forces.

“I want you the people who are near the lakes to guide me, to get the elders of this area; they should be the ones to tell us who is spoiling the lakes so that the army can go away and the people themselves look after the lakes,” said President Museveni.

“If you have evidence about soldiers who are extorting money, bring the evidence and we arrest them. We don’t have to wait until the handover. People need to be assisted to do proper fishing. And the ones saying that I should just take away the soldiers, I’m a bit suspicious of you because why don’t you want a proper handover?”

Meanwhile, the President assigned the minister for Northern Uganda, Hon Grace Freedom Kwiocwiny to coordinate the process saying; “we shall have a conference and then we can remove the soldiers from the lakes.”

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Mr Museveni was campaigning for Ms Janet Adongo Rose Elau, the NRM flag bearer for the Dokolo District Woman Parliamentary seat.

Established in 2017 under the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the FPU aims to combat illegal fishing and improve the fisheries sector.

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With Museveni’s recent announcement, the FPU seems to be shifting towards a dissolution as the President now favours community-led lake management across the country.

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