MPs protest harassment of fishing communities. Members of Parliament from the fishing communities have protested the continued harassment of fishermen and women in the different water bodies in the country.
The MPs include; Buvuma Islands’ Robert Migadde, Wakiso Woman MP Ethel Naluyima, Buvuma Woman MP Susan Mugabi Nakaziba and Buikwe South MP Lulume Bayiga.
Others are; Bukoto East MP Kanyiike Ronald and Kyamuswa County MP Moses Kabuusu who say that fishermen and women are being harassed as their boat engines and fishing gears are confiscated and are being stopped from dealing in several products of fish.
Addressing the media today at Parliament, the MPs say that fishermen are being blocked from dealing in silverfish, commonly known as Mukene, traders have also been stopped from dealing in fish maws. The MPs now say this is a move to control the fisheries to the benefit of a few racketeers and the Government needs to put the fishermen in their plans.
The Buvuma islands MP Robert Migadde says that the fishers are unsettled as they are losing properties night and day.
The Buikwe South MP Lulume Bayiga says that the move will leave women involved in smoking fish and those who deal in silverfish without a source of income yet this is where they have been earning a living and they pay license fees to the government.
The Wakiso Woman MP Betty Ethel Naluyima says that the continued presence of the Fish protection unit from the army is intimidating and has now started affecting the revenue collections of local governments around the fishing communities.
The Buvuma Woman MP Susan Mugabi says that the conflicting regulations in the sector have turned the fishers into financially vulnerable persons.
Migadde now wants the minister to come out and assure the fishermen of justice otherwise this monopoly is going to affect the price of fish in the country and kick ordinary fishermen from their livelihood.
The Kyamuswa county MP Moses Kabuusu says that there are uncoordinated directives on the lakes adding that MPs and local leaders should be involved in whatever new policy the Government is bringing.
Ever since the President deployed the army in the waters to guard against illegal fishing, there have been continued concerns of harassment and torture of fishers. The complaints of MPs come at the backdrop of a move to register all fishermen and women countrywide.
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