Museveni threatens to withdraw soldiers from the lake over corruption

Museveni has threatened to withdraw the FPU personnel from the lakes after claims of extortion and corruption by native residents. Courtesy Photo

Kampala, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Museveni has threatened to recall UPDF officers attached to the Fisheries Protection Unit [FPU] over corruption-related claims.

Speaking to NRM delegates from the districts of Kamuli and Buyende on Saturday 5th, the National Resistance Movement [NRM] flag bearer said that he deployed FPU to clean up the lake, however, some officers are extorting fishermen with illegal fishing gears which undermines the core principles of their operations.

Mr Museveni says the native of the fishing communities who are the core beneficiaries of the lake resources were infiltrated by undisciplined elements who didn’t value fisheries resources which warranted for the institution of FPU as a measure to protect fish species from depletion. However, some of the law enforcers are instead engaging in the vice.

Mr Museveni asserts that reports have revealed how FPU personnel have turned into fish mongers thereby undermining the aims of the operation which requires them to desist from engaging in the fish trade as it would entice them into corruption so as to protect their interests on the lakes.

The president has thus tasked the indigenous communities along the shores and fish landing sites to select committees mandated with conserving fish resources within the lakes of Victoria and Kyoga so as to foster sustainability of the fisheries resources.

Read Also: Uganda’s fish exports decline by 70% due to COVID-19 restrictions

Mr Museveni further says that such committees will ease the removal of FPU from the lake as they will be a civilian force to protect these lakes from exploitation by saboteurs.

Meanwhile, Maurice Kibalya, the Bugabula south county MP says that NRM has become unpopular within the fishing communities due to torture and corruption tendencies exhibited by FPU personnel.

FPU commenced its operations of fighting illegal fishing across Uganda’s water bodies in 2017 but they have attracted public criticism over torture and extortion.