The UPDF Marine unit under the command of Lt. Col Moses Nuwagaba is set to be investigated over allegations of brutality by Uganda People’s Defense Force-UPDF soldiers against fishermen operating on Lake Kyoga.
The special probe into the matter has been ordered by General David Muhoozi the Chief of Defense Force. The marine team is currently involved in special operations against illegal fishing practices on Lake Kyoga.
The current operations are in line with a resolution by Lake Kyoga Management Organization-LAKIMO in May, 2018 recommending a fishing holiday to pave way for a cleanup exercise on the lake.
However, UPDF soldiers have confiscated and destroyed illegal fishing nets and undersized boats in a brutal manner, according to the fishermen.
Gen. Muhoozi On Monday toured Bangladesh and Nalibwowo landing sites in Amolatar district to ascertain the claims and was shocked when local leaders paraded more than 50 residents with wounds on their buttocks, which they claim to have sustained at the hands of UPDF soldiers.
The victims were allegedly arrested by Marine soldiers on May 16th, 2019 while conducting what was considered illegal fishing on Lake Kyoga and were subsequently detained for about two days at Bangladesh landing site by the marine soldiers.
According to one of the fishermen identified as Joel Omodo, they were subjected to 45 strokes of the case each day segmented into three breaks including breakfast, lunch and supper, an allegation the army has denied.
However, Gen. Muhoozi promised to install a special committee to investigate the allegation of torture and brutality raised by the fishermen.
The Defense State Minister Charles Okello Engola promised that government shall find the best way possible to compensate the injured fishermen.