President William Ruto has pledged to engage Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to address the harassment of Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan authorities.
Speaking during a visit to Mfangano Island in Homa Bay, the president said he would meet the Ugandan President on Tuesday to discuss the plight of the fishermen.
Harassment of Kenyan fishermen in Lake Victoria has been a serious concern in the recent past. The fishermen from Homa Bay, Siaya, and Busia counties have complained of being arrested and detained in Uganda.
Some have expressed concerns over Ugandan officials snatching their fish and forcing them to “eat raw fish” after arresting them.
But Ruto who spoke on Saturday, October 7, said he will fly to Uganda on Tuesday to discuss the matter with President Museveni.
He said he would ensure the people of Kenya co-exist well with their Ugandan counterparts.
“I am going to discuss the matter with my colleague Museveni on Tuesday to address harassment of fishermen in Lake Victoria. We need good neighbourhoodship in the usage of Lake Victoria resources,” Ruto said.
The President said his administration is committed to ensuring the safety of fishermen who earn a living in Lake Victoria.
Ruto added the aim of the discussion is to ensure security officers guarding the lake use their powers to protect fishermen, but not to harass them.
“The work of our security officers is to safeguard fishermen and their property in Lake Victoria. We want our fishermen to operate in a conducive atmosphere,” said Ruto.
Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga appealed to the President to boost the security of fishermen in Lake Victoria by deploying more officers.
Wanga said the Kenya Coast Guard Service officers should be empowered to enhance their efforts in safeguarding Lake Victoria.
“The security of fishermen in Lake Victoria is key and should be enhanced by empowering our security officers who man the lake,” she said.
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The President also launched the construction of the Mfangano Ring road. The road is going to open the island for development.
Suba South MP Caroli Omondi said the people of the Abasuba community had made a declaration to work with the government.
“As the people of Suba, we have unanimously resolved to work with the government to enhance implementation of development in our region,” Omondi said.
He said the cooperation between the Abasuba community and the government will address numerous development gaps that have existed in the region for long.
“Suba region has lagged behind in development. This collaboration will transform the lives of many people here.”
Later, the President launched the tarmacking of Mbita- Sindo- Magunga- Sori Road in Homa Bay County.
Ruto was also accompanied by some MPs from Azimio la Umoja and Kenya Kwanza coalitions, and Cabinet security.