Fisheries Protection Unit Commended for Efforts in Tackling Criminality on Ugandan Lakes

fisheries protection unit commended for efforts in tackling criminality on ugandan lakes
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Lieutenant Colonel Dick Kaija received commendation from General Wilson Mbadi, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), for the military’s dedicated efforts in combating criminal activities on Ugandan lakes in a ceremony marking the transition of leadership at the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU).

Gen Mbadi praised Lt Col Kaija not only for enforcing fisheries laws but also for his commitment to educating fishermen about fishing guidelines. Emphasizing the routine nature of service change within the forces, Gen Mbadi acknowledged Lt Col Kaija’s efforts in addressing criminality and illegal fishing on the lakes.

“I commend you for not only enforcing the fisheries law but have educated the fishermen about the guidelines on fishing, transportation, and licensing of fish and its products,” Gen Mbadi stated during the handover ceremony at Mbuya.

Lt Col Kaija, in turn, acknowledged the support received from subordinates and officers and called for continued loyalty and support for the incoming commander, Lt Col Mercy Tukahirwa. Highlighting the FPU’s significant role in curbing illegal fishing practices, Gen Mbadi noted the positive impact on fish populations and increased government revenue.

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Despite these successes, concerns have arisen regarding the military’s handling of fishermen, with reports of fatalities and instances of excessive force. Various reports tabled before parliament and civil societies have highlighted alleged highhandedness, with over 10 people reportedly drowning in the lake while attempting to evade the military. Some instances, such as the beating death of Frederick Omondi, have raised questions about the use of force.

Acknowledging the criticism, Gen Mbadi urged the new commander to lead the FPU in protecting the lakes while seeking guidance and maintaining a listening approach. “I urge you to accord the same support and loyalty to the new commander,” Lt Col Kaija said.

Expressing gratitude for the entrusted leadership role, Lt Col Tukahirwa called for the cooperation of officers and men within the Fisheries Protection Unit. The handover ceremony witnessed the presence of high-ranking officials, including the Commander of the Special Forces Command, Brig Gen David Mugisha, and Commander Marines Brig Gen Michael Nyarwa.

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