Fisheries Operation Claims One, Two Others Injured

One person has been killed and two others injured in an operation by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit at Kishenyi landing site on Lake Edward.  The deceased has been identified as 58-year-old Joram Bombo, a resident of Rumuri in Kichwamba Sub County in Rubirizi district. 

The injured are Francis Kabundire, 62, a resident of Kajera Cell, Kazinga Parish in Katunguru Sub County and Corporal Rajab Kyalingonza, a soldier attached to the Fisheries Protection Unit. Bombo died on his way to Komboni Hospital in Kyamuhunga after being shot on Sunday.

John Patrick Mayanja, the Chairperson of fishermen at Kishenyi Landing Site, says the soldiers arrived when the fishermen were checking on their nets and shot at them.  He says Bombo could have been shot as he approached the breeding zone that was increased from 200 meters to 1000 meters by the soldiers.

Mayanja says that they asked soldiers to install marks showing the breeding zone to avoid the unnecessary killings in vain.

Robert Baliya, a fisherman at Kisenyi landing site says it was in the wee hours of Sunday morning when they heard gun shots on the lake and fishermen shouting asking for help. Capt. Favorite Rugumayo, the Spokesperson of the UPDF Marine Brigade, which is in charge of the Fisheries Protection Unit, says the soldiers shot at the fishermen in self-defense. 

He says the soldiers shot in the air four bullets but the fishermen went on to attack them. Captain Rugumayo says Bombo was shot in the leg died while being evacuated to hospital.  

Captain Rugumayo says the fishermen were in the breeding zone, which is out of bounds and were using under size nets.  

Captain Rugumayo says investigations are ongoing to establish what really happened and if the soldiers are found in the wrong they will be brought to book. He says six people were arrested during the operation are locked up at Katwe Kabatoro police station in Kasese district.

However, Mayanja refutes claims that the deceased fisherman attacked soldiers, which prompted his shooting.

The incident comes less than a month since Maj. Gen. Leopold Kyanda, the Chief of Staff of the Land Forces in the UPDF met Fishermen and residents at landing sites to investigate allegations of torture and illegal arrests leveled against the Fisheries Protection unit.

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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