Police in Port Victoria in Busia county have launched an investigation to determine the allegations that two fishermen based in Marenga Beach in Lake Victoria in Budalangi were shot dead by the Ugandan police Defense Police Force (UPDF) manning the lake over illegal fishing on Monday
According to Bunyala sub-county police commander Mr. Isaiah Mose, the two were among the five others fishing around Sumba island in the lake before they were shot, while the other three were rescued by the Kenyan coast guards.
“We received information yesterday evening from the interim chairperson of Sumba Island beach management Unit Mr. George Osolo informing us of two fishermen from Marenga Beach who were fishing in the lake before they were ambushed by Ugandan police defense forces shot two fishermen, arresting one while other two dived into the water for safety.
We informed the Kenya coast guard officer who rushed to the scene and established that there was a UPDF boat, but it left before they arrived. They rescued three Kenyans who were floating on the water after their boat capsized,” he said.
He said that the coastguard officers retrieved the body of Mr. Fred Majoni Pamba from the water while the other body is still missing, two of those who were rescued were treated and allowed to go home while the other one is recuperating at Port Victoria sub-county hospital.
“Fred Majoni Pamba’s body was retrieved, and it is lying at Port Victoria morgue waiting for postmortem, while Laurence Anema Ababa, Igoma Danas Rugungu, and Paul Owinyi were rescued and treated, and released two of them. We are yet to get the fifth person, but we are told the UPDF arrested him. We don’t know about his whereabouts,” he explained.
He revealed they are engaging their Ugandan counterparts to unearth what happened in the lake yesterday between the UPDF and the Kenyan fishermen, though he confirms that the body was found with bullet injuries on the left side of his ribs.
“We have contacted our colleagues in Uganda and they are launching investigations before giving out the details. However, our DCI department has taken up the matter and will update us on the findings. I just want to appeal to our fishermen to remain patient as the authorities carry out the investigations.”Isaiah Mose, Bunyala Sub County Police Commander
According to Igoma Rugungu, there was a scuffle between them and the two Ugandan police officers in the other boat, and two people were killed, disappearing with another body.
He noted it began when they defied the order to go to Uganda and started rowing back to Kenya, but they were blocked by the Ugandan boat, resulting in a confrontation between the two parties.
According to Godfrey Oloo Ogutu, Marenga Beach chairperson, there is a need for the Kenyan government to intervene and stop the frequent harassment they receive from the Ugandan police officer.
“We just need this harassment to end. It is now normal to harass Kenyan fishermen. When the officers arrest Kenyan fishermen they force them to go to Uganda and fine them heavily. If you resist they kill you. That is why I am appealing to the Kenyan government to step in and address the problem. Some of these security personnel don’t know where the boundary is,” he said