By Davis Mugabi
Kenyan fishermen are holding a Ugandan soldier and three civilian colleagues while on patrol on Lake Victoria.
The soldier has been identified as Pte Balam Twinamasiko.
UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso confirmed the incident, putting the facts as in the statement below:
At the dawn of Thursday 23rd Dec 2021, Uganda’s Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) soldiers received information that a big group of Kenyan fishermen had crossed and were in Uganda?s waters near SAGITI ISLAND – Namayingo District.
FPU crew of six (6); 03 soldiers and 03 civilians immediately went out for a fact finding patrol. They were able to arrest 07 boats, 03 outboard engines, a number of illegal fishing nets and 14 (Kenyan) suspects.
These suspects were divided into 2 groups for safe transportation on the lake; so were the FPU crew; 05 suspects were put on the FPU boat and the rest in the fishermen?s 07 boats. The suspects however managed to somehow contact their colleagues, hence Kenya Coastal Guard Police came to their rescue and were able to intercept and take back one of the 07 boats taking along with that one boat, all the other 09 suspects, one FPU soldier; Pte Twinamasiko Balam and 3 civilians; Mwanje Muhammed, Masereka Joseph and Kasozi Yasin.
The five Kenyan illegal fishermen who were ARRESTED, namely: Ojiambo Vincent 24, Odari Brian 24, Osinye Brian 29, Omondi Erias 21 and Ojiambo Moses 24, are kept at Uganda’s Maninga Police Post. The four Ugandans who were TAKEN HOSTAGE are kept at Port Victoria Police station in Kenya.
Attempts by the commander FPU to have the matter resolved at that level were in futile, and so was the preferred meeting between RDC Namayingo and his Kenyan counterpart (DC) in whose jurisdiction Port Victoria Police is situate. The matter is now being handled at strategic diplomatic level.
Note; NO FOUR (4) UPDF SOLDIERS WERE ARRESTED. Only Pte Twinamasiko Balam and his 3 civilian colleagues were rather CAPTURED and TAKEN HOSTAGE while on their mandated duty on Uganda?s waters.
What Sky News reported was merely sensational and a deliberate misrepresentation of facts aimed at serving the paper’s sinister interests for which they shall be held accountable. The public is therefore encouraged to ignore the Sky News skewed/misrepresented facts.