Fishermen from various landing sites in Albert in Hoima district have lost property worth more than Shillings 800 million to army Congolese men in the last five months.
Attacks by the Congolese men against Ugandan fishermen have been rampant in the past few months. The recent attack occurred on Saturday morning last week near Sebigoro landing site in Kabwoya Sub County.
Records at Sebigoro Marine police indicates that the Congolese soldiers have confiscated more than 90 boat engines and fishing gears from Lake Albert waters since January this year.
The most affected are fishermen on Kaiso, Kyehoro, Nkondo, Sebigoro, Nsunzu, Kijangi, Fofo and Nsonga in the sub counties of Buseruka, Kabwoya and Kyangwali landing sites.
Robert Mujuni, a fisherman at Kaiso Landing site, says he has lost more than Shillings 12 million to the Congolese armed men since January this year. According to Mujuni, they pay between US$ 500 to 600 to recover their boats confiscated by the Congolese.
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Ismail Ofoi, another fisherman, says he is unable to raise school fees for his children since he used all his money to recover his fishing gear from the Congolese authorities. According to Ofoi, he has spent more than Shillings 20 million since January to recover his confiscated fishing gears.
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Elaria Opar, another fisherman says he has lost more than Shillings 50 million at the hands of the Congolese soldiers. According to Opra, he personally crossed to DR Congo over twenty times to recover his confiscated fishing gears.
Geoffrey Kumakech, the Buseruka Sub county LC V, says the loss is huge big to the district and government, since most fishermen are now refusing to pay revenue.
Kumakech told URN that due to the persistent attacks on the fishermen by Congolese armed soldiers, they are now finding it hard as lower local government to collect revenue from the fishermen.
He says the district is finding it difficult to collect revenue because of the persistent attacks by the Congolese government soldiers.