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Why Kenyan fish traders are set to be compensated by Uganda govt

Fish worth Sh200 million was confiscated by Ugandan soldiers

Why Kenyan fish traders are set to be compensated by Uganda govt

Fish traders will soon be smiling all the way to the bank after Government of Uganda has agreed to compensate traders from Kenya for the fish that was confiscated last year at Mpondwe border enroute to DR Congo.

According to the traders, from October to November 2021, salted fish, with a total value of Sh200 million, rot in stores at the Busia border after Uganda’s Fisheries Protection Unit banned them from stepping foot in the country.

The bone of contention was the source of fish Kenyans were exporting to DRC. Ugandan authorities accused Kenyans of stealing their fish, from Lake Kyoga and Lake George, a claim the traders have denied. They said they source their fish from Lake Turkana.

During a four-day discussion held at Busia, a resolution passed by the Foreign Affairs representatives from both countries agreed to facilitate transportation of fish from Lake Turkana, through Uganda to DRC without interference.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also raise a formal complaint to Uganda for compensation on behalf of the fish traders.

In the statement, the two governments resolved to form a multi-agency team in Marsabit, Samburu and Turkana counties to come up with mechanisms for evacuation of fish from Lake Turkana on transit to the DR Congo through Uganda by March 11, this year.

“A bilateral technical joint committee, headed by the directors of fisheries management, will meet virtually on March 25 to harmonize the mechanisms developed by the multi-agency teams,” the statement reads.

The final harmonized proposal will be submitted to respective permanent or principal secretaries for adoption virtually on March 25.

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Ugandan officials have in the past arrested, detained and prosecuted Kenyan fishermen whom they have accused of fishing in their waters in Lake Victoria.

In most cases of the arrests, done by the Ugandan military, canoes and other fishing gear belonging to the Kenyans, have been confiscated.

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