Fishermen from Muhuru Bay in Migori County are pleading with the government to come to their rescue after they were allegedly ejected from Migingo island by the Ugandan authorities as the Kenyan police watched helplessly.
The fishermen claimed they have been suffering for a long time since the arrival of the Ugandan police at the disputed island.
Speaking to KTN News on Tuesday, April 17, the seemingly frustrated and bitter fishermen narrated how the Ugandan authorities one day roughed up and chased away Kenyan police who had been deployed to the island to protect them.
“There is a day we went there with our police, but the Ugandan police beat up the Kenyan police.They roughed them up then told them to pack their stuff and leave immediately,” one of the fishermen said.
The incident, they claimed, left them hopeless and helpless because they were counting on the Kenyan authorities to provide them with security.
According to the Muhuru Bay fishermen, they have been crying for help from the government but nobody seems to listen to their grievances.
“As fishermen, we also pay taxes and want the government to help us. We recently went to High Court over this issue, but up to date we have not seen anything. The government has neglected us,” the fishermen lamented.
They claimed the number of Kenyan fishermen left at the island has dropped from 1000 to just 100 since the Ugandan police arrived.
This, however, was not the first time the Kenyan government has been put on the spot over harassment of local fishermen working at the contentious Migingo island.
In November last year, 22 Kenyan fishermen were arrested by Ugandan police who accused them of breaking Ugandan laws.
The fishermen were later released after an intervention by the then Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
Opposition politicians from the lake side region, led by Suba South MP John Mbadi and Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo, accused the government of failing to protect its borders in an ongoing dispute with Uganda over the controversial border inside Lake Victoria.
Exposeke.com understands the two governments are still in the process of finding an amicable solution to the Migingo saga.