The NRM presidential candidate and incumbent Yoweri Museveni has ordered an investigation into activities of the fisheries standards enforcement teams saying they are frustrating economic activities.
Addressing a rally at Nebbi Primary School playground last evening, Museveni said those who claim to be involved in enforcing law on illegal fishing are thieves.
“If those officers have failed in their supervisory roles, they should be dismissed. Those complaints should be investigated immediately and disciplinary action taken. All Fisheries Officers should stop their activities in connection with Fisheries standards Enforcement because they are the problem,” he said.
He has thus directed the RDCs to consult the elders to guide on how to preserve the fish in the lakes.
The President also directed the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Tress Buchanayandi to stop forthwith the activities and operations of the Beach management Units and Committees and for Fisheries Officers to stop their activities.
In a separate letter to the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, the President directed the immediate withdrawal of all the Police officers involved in the enforcement of fisheries related matters until the Ministry of Agriculture puts a proper mechanism in place. He also directed the investigation of police officers implicated by the fishermen and community members and take the necessary action against them.
The fisheries department has for decades been confiscating nets, and impounding immature fish.
However, some of the residents who attended the rally said this is simply a political pronouncement to win votes, while others were angered that the head of state branded officials in fishing departments thieves.
On education, Museveni promised to increase funding in order to have total free education. As he spoke, people were grumbling that they were not having free education due to charges levied by school authorities on parents.
Nebbi district relies on fishing activities as a main source of local income especially along Panyimur, Pakwach and Wadelai which contributes about 50 percent of the local revenue for the district.
Story By Warom Okello