Fishermen from Lwabaswa landing site on Bubembe Island in Bujumba sub-county, Kalangala want district leaders to dissolve the Beach Management Unit (BMU) over allegations of torturing innocent colleagues.
This was revealed in a meeting chaired by Kalangala deputy resident district commissioner Sarah Nanyanzi together with Kalangala Fish Protection Unit (FPU) Commander Capt. Eric Serian Muhangi, James Nandu Mugoya of Community Policing at Kalangala Central Police Station and fishermen.
Florence Nansubuga, a silverfish fisherman, said some committee members are engaged in illegal fishing yet others misuse their position and impound mature fish, sell them off and intimidate to report innocent fishermen to FPU.
“The committee lost a truck where instead of enforcing the laws, they just bent them for their personal interest. Fishermen can no longer open up on who is engaged in illegal actions because they are members of the committee,” Nansubuga said.
Fishermen allege that they never elected these members on the committee but rather, the FPU commander by then Capt. Fredric Mwondha just selected them minus scrutiny together with community members.
Herbert Ntambaazi, the BMU chairperson, distanced the committee from engaging in illegal fishing and transportation of immature fish using their positions as leaders.
“Fishermen who are engaged in illegal fishing use that technique to have their own members selected among the committee members. So, these allegations are intended to blackmail law enforcers on the committee for them to freely destroy the Lake,” Ntambaazi said.
Capt. Muhangi said investigations had commenced into fishermen’s concerns on the BMU committee, adding that effective October, action will be taken on that issue.
“We cannot dissolve this committee without investigations. I found it managing the landing site and so, any speculation from fishermen will be addressed in harmony,” he said.
Nanyanzi urged fishermen to always focus on their work, use legal methods in fishing as well as abide by the laws in place rather than engaging in unnecessary fights with their immediate leaders.