Mpuuga Demands Probe into Atrocities On Lakes

The shadow cabinet on Monday demanded a probe into atrocities allegedly committed by UPDF’s Fisheries Protection Unit on Lakes in the country.

The cabinet chaired by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga was responding to various complaints by fisheries communities around various lake across the country.

The Fisheries Protection Unit was deployed on the lakes to fight against illicit fishing practices. But its operatives have been accused of torture, bribery and acting with impunity while executing their duty.

Mathias Mpuuga explains that several petitions have been delivered to his office by aggrieved members of the fishing community implicating the UPDF for continued terror attacks and blatant torture of fishermen in various water bodies.

Mpuuga cited widespread harassment, and deaths resulting from tortures, auctioning the impounded fish and fish gears from fishermen for private gains under the guise of curbing prohibited fishing practices.

He recently met residents of Dimu Town Council in Masaka who raised the complaints.

Mpuuga said the District Fisheries Officer reported the involvement of the UPDF officers in collecting illicit “boat taxes’ from fishermen which affect the revenue collection efforts.

He asked Parliament to investigate what he described as a gross violation of human rights among the fishing communities.

However, Jacob Marksons Oboth, the Minister of State for Defense responded that the Government does not condone any human rights violation against any Ugandans

Parliament has passed numerous resolutions urging for the suspending of UPDF activities on water bodies but the government has not heeded. The enforcement of the Presidential directive to combat illegal fishing has been in place since 2017.

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