Kigoma fishermen complains of abduction, looting on Lake Tanganyika

19Feb 2021
The Guardian
Kigoma fishermen complains of abduction, looting on Lake Tanganyika

​​​​​​​FISHERMEN in Kigoma Ujiji municipality have complained about the abduction and looting of their fishing gear on Lake Tanganyika by the alleged armed robbers, urging the government to tighten maritime security.

In an interview one of the fishermen who were affected by the challenge, Rajab Haji revealed that the incident occurred on the eve of February 16, this year at around 8 pm.

He said that on the fateful day they were attacked by people with firearms and traditional weapons who wanted them to hand over their fishing gear including nets, engines, petrol, batteries, and telephones.

Haji called on the security forces in the region to ensure their safety while on the lake, including promptly handling reports of crimes when they occur.

He said: “Most of the time when we call them about crime in the lake, they say they have no fuel and when we report robbery incidents, we also don’t get help. That’s why we’re calling the security organs to chip in and support when need arises.”

Chairman of fishermen association in Kigoma Region Francis John said that crime incidents in the lake have affected four people who were robbed properties worth 19m/-, asking the security organs to make close-follow-ups on the matter.

“This is a serious challenge that affects the development of the fisheries sector in Lake Tanganyika and people’s income and the nation at large,” he said.

Confirming the incident, Acting Kigoma Regional Police Alchelaus Mutalemwa said that they received information about a 32-year-old man with clubs who looted various items worth 4,735,000/-.

The regional police chief called on fishermen to conduct their activities on the Tanzanian side, claiming that there were reports of some of them entering the other parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and other parts of the lake.

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