Fishermen in Bunambutye, Bwikhonge and Nabbongo sub-counties in
Bulambuli district have complained over the alleged harassment by Local Defense
Units and officers of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The fishermen on River Giligi allege that the LDUs and the UWA rangers
tend to assault them and to confiscate their fishing gears.
River Girigi is a small tributary located along the border of Bulambuli, Kween
and Bukedea districts in Eastern Uganda. The fishermen often harvest mad fish
and Tilapia fish species as an economic activity.
Majority of the residents from Teso, Bugisu and Sebei fish from
this tributary using rudimentary methods and sell in the nearby markets to
raise livelihood in their households.
It is reported that on Friday last week, five fishermen were
allegedly harassed, beaten and their fishing gears confiscated by security
personnel and wildlife ranger’s operatives along River Girigi.
David Mungobi, a resident of Bulumera village in Bwikhonge Sub County says in
the last ten years at least fifteen fishermen have lost lives in the hands of
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Richard Wamala, one of the victims says two LDU personals suspected to be from
Kamungei Local Defense Unit barracks in Kween district attacked, beat them up
and confiscated their fish.
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Patrick Saizi accuses the security of inflicting pain on his body and shooting
unnecessary to scare them from fishing.
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Stephen Malanga, says that his arm was broken during the violence and wants
authorities to intervene.
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Moses Mukhwana, the District Councilor Bwikhonge sub-county faults the security
operatives for what he termed segregation of Bagisu fishermen from the Itesots
and Sabiny community whenever they go fishing.
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Peter Pekes Pak, the Bulambuli Resident District Commissioner says he has
received reports of torture by the wildlife rangers and that he has instructed
complainants to report to police.
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Alex Mungoma Burundo, the Bulambuli County Member of Parliament has promised to
intervene in the matter.
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Edward Magombe, the UPDF Zonal Commander Anti Stock Safety Unit for Bulambuli
and Sironko condemned the actions of the LDUs adding that they have been
arrested and currently detained at Chepsikunya Local Defense Unit Barracks.