The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF has
commenced investigations into extreme extortion of Ugandan fishermen by members security forces on Lake Albert.
Since March this year when government suspended
fishing on lake Albert as a means of combating the spread of COVID-19,
fishermen operating on lake Albert have been accusing some security operatives including
the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers and police deployed to guard
the lake of extorting disproportionate sums of money from them.
They accused soldiers and police deployed to enforce the COVID-19 guidelines on the shores of lake Albert of squeezing obscene amounts from them.
According to the fishermen, they are charged up to half a million shilling per boat to access the lake to carry out
fishing. The crazy charges levied by the soldiers must be paid in advance of accessing the water.
Captain Steven Tumwesige, the UPDF Public
Relations Officer in charge Albertine region says following the public outcry,
UPDF has been compelled to launch investigations to establish the truth.
Tuwmesige says a team of UPDF investigators has
been dispatched on the shores of lake Albert to investigate the matter adding
that after the investigations, the team will come up with a comprehensive
report and those who will be found guilty of collecting the grotesque bribes will be apprehended and charged
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Cue out:…with immediate effect.”//
Fred Baingana, a fisherman at Nkondo landing
site in Kikuube district says UPDF has delayed to carry out the investigations
saying many fishermen have fallen victims.
URN has reliably established that among the
top issues to be forwarded to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni when he comes to
Bunyoro this week is the increasing extortion of Fishermen on Lake Albert by
Leaders in Kikuube, Hoima and Buliisa districts
have also severally accused security operatives deployed to guard the lake of
harassment and extortion but their pleas have always fallen on deaf ears.
leaders on several occasions petitioned parliament to intervene but all in vain.