Raila warns Museveni against harassing Kenyan fishermen


Opposition leader Raila Odinga has told Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to stop humiliating Kenyan fishermen in the waters of Lake Victoria.

Raila stated that Kenyan fishermen belong to the East African community trading block and the fish in Lake Victoria have no boundaries as they cannot tell which waters they belong to.

“How are Museveni and his security officers harassing Kenyan fishermen [claiming] that they are encroaching their waters when one cannot identify which fish is from the Ugandan waters or the Kenyan waters?” Raila said.

Speaking at Usigu beach in Bondo subcounty on Saturday, Raila asked Museveni to ensure he marks all fishes from Uganda or ceases arresting Kenyan fishermen as one cannot control fish movements in Lake Victoria.

“How is Museveni justifying that all fishes caught at the border line of Uganda and Kenya are from Uganda, what if those fish are bred in Kenya and only cross over to feed?,” he said.

The ODM leader asked for tolerance between the two governments, saying security officers manning border lines should be guided by the common East Africa rules than by their masters’ interests.

Raila said good working relations between neighbouring countries will boost the economy and improve foreign exchange.

“Creating animosity at our border towns will only lead to border clashes, which are not a good precedence for leaders in officers.”

He added that going by the pace at which the issue of Migingo has taken, it is clear that both leaders in Uganda and Kenyan are set to flex their superiority muscles.

The last time the issue of Migingo Island came up, both governments agreed to meet for long-lasting solutions.

However, no clear information has been made available on how the matter will be handled.

As the 2017 general election approaches, it will be of interest to see how IEBC officials will be allowed to conduct voting in the area.

On March 10, Ugandan security officers stopped a voter registration exercise saying IEBC officials went to the Island without their knowledge, and while aware the ownership of the island is still in dispute.

Two Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission clerks were arrested and their equipment confiscated as they registered Kenyans.

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