The state minister for Defence Col. Charles Engola has cautioned UPDF officers operating under the Fisheries Protection Unit in Nakasongola district to stop torturing people living in the fishing communities with immediate effect.
“There are few individuals among UPDF who are doing that nonsense of torture and that is why we are here now we have to stop them,”he said.
The minister urged the marine officers to stop mistreating fishermen on the lakes noting that their work is to maintain peace but not to torture the locals.
This came after fishermen raised their grievances to the authorities in the area that the UPDF marine force was torturing them because they were accused of using illegal fishing methods.
The fishermen raised complaints during a meeting with the minister who was touring the district.
People in Kiwambya landing site in Kalongo sub county in Nakasongola district accused Marine officers of clobbering them, confiscating and destroying their boats among others.
Cyrus Mwesigye,a fisherman said that he was subjected to a heavy punishment by the force which has affected his life.
“I was hurt and I cannot sit .there is swelling on my behind part ,the ears and the head all swollen and as you can see there is nothing I can do. I am in pain,”he said.
The teary Mwesigye noted that he has been crippled to the extend that he can no longer support his family.
Upon the receiving grievances of torture from the locals, the area member of parliament Noah Mutebi Wanzala reported to parliament.
He also wrote to the minister of Defence to come and explain to the people of Nakasongola why his people are being tortured by the force.
The minister assured them that the issue of torture will be addressed and the officers engaged in such acts will be brought to book.