The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has expressed concern over allegations of torture by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) marines meted at fishing communities around Lake Victoria.
“I am deeply saddened by the Marines of the UPDF for torturing the people living on the Islands. I received reports form Buvuma, Buyende and Nakasongola where Marines have beaten people,” she said.
Kadaga made the remarks during a fundraising ceremony for women groups in Bukooli Islands on Sunday, 16th September 2018.
She added that due to these circumstances, she had asked the Ministers of Agriculture, Finance and the leadership of the marines to ascertain which laws were being implemented on the fishing communities.
The Speaker added that a resolution had been taken by the Ministry of Agriculture in streamlining the activities of the marines on the lakes.
Amongst the complaints read to the speaker in a memorandum by Hon Ouma George, the MP Bukolli Islands, was the commercialization of the operation of the marines where it alleged that UPDF grab mature fish from the fishermen and eventually sale it for personal gain.
“Why does the UPDF confiscate mature fish from the fishermen? Was that part of the mandate given to them?” he asked.
Hon Gideon Ochanda from the Kenya National Assembly representingBondo in Siaya County on the boarder of Kenya and Uganda also expressed displeasure saying that the UPDF marines also torture the Kenyans on the lake.
He added that for the East African community to move forward such atrocities should be stopped.
Kadaga assured that residents of the Island that she would speak to President Museveni about their plight.
The Speaker made a contribution of shs19 million towards the purchase of a motorized boat for the women on Bukooli Islands