Siaya Senator James Orengo has now challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to take the diplomatic tussle between Kenya and Uganda over Migingo Island to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Orengo who spoke in Migori on Saturday during a fundraiser at Pee Hills Secondary School decried the constant harassment that Kenyans have been going through at the hands of Ugandan officials.
He noted that it is unacceptable that the country has allowed Uganda to claim ownership of Migingo even though it is part of Kenya.
“The question of the Island called Migingo which is in the territory of Kenya is undisputed as part of Kenya. That issues should be resolved and I am advising President Uhuru Kenyatta that the matter should be taken to the ICJ,” said Orengo.
For the last few years, Kenyan fishermen have complained over constant harassment from Ugandan officials and have been blaming the government over the laxity to address the boundary row.
In September last year, tensions rose in the island after Ugandan authorities lowered a Kenyan flag. They have also been accused of arresting Kenyan fishermen and confiscating their boats.
Although Kenyan security organs downplayed the situation, residents and fishermen who have been perpetually harassed by Ugandan police said their businesses have been shut down.
Last month during Uganda President Yoweri Museveni’s visit to the country, Uhuru announced that the two countries were working together to solve the dispute.
“Lake Victoria is an important transboundary resource that has continued to support the livelihoods of our people, not just in Kenya and Uganda but the entire East African region,” President Kenyatta said then.
But leaders from the region are unimpressed with the slow progress in resolving the dispute as fishermen continue to complain of constant harassment by Ugandan officials.
On Saturday, Orengo claimed that the ICJ is now vital in resolving the boundary dispute.
“I am ready to represent Kenya and the people of Migori for free at The Hague. If we go there, we will ask Museveni since when did Migingo become part of Uganda,” he said.
His comments mirror the concerns of other leaders in the region who have also been drumming support for the country to lodge a case against Uganda over the tiny Island.
Last year, opposition leaders demanded that the diplomatic tussle between Kenya and Uganda over Migingo Island be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
About two weeks ago, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula also criticized the government over its laxity to take full control of the island.
He termed Ugandans occupation of the Island as illegal and unjustified.