Giving their complaints before the Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella at a public rally at Ryegoba Island, the fishermen said the situation is not safe and they are heading to poverty as many of them took bank loans which they may be unable to repay and appealed to the government for assistance in fighting the lake pirates.
They also said they were ready to offer their fishing vessels for patrol work, as what they lack is security personnel including marine police.
“In truth we face many challenges over our security, as when we go to set in our fishnets there is no problem, but when we go to pull the nets there appears people with firearms and rob us of everything while we cannot do anything,” said Mhande Mafuru and Thomas Mwita on behalf of colleagues.
After listening to the complaints from wananchi residing in Ryegoba, Sizu, Kwelukubwa, Bushengele, Bulazu, Kulaza, Garinzila and Kwelu Mto villages, the regional commissioner called upon the fishermen to ensure they unearth the local collaborators who gang up with people from Uganda and Kenya in lake piracy in order for steps to be taken against them as no foreigner can do such vice without assistance from Tanzanians.
Mongella also directed the Ukerewe District Commissioner Lucas Magembe to make haste in fighting the piracy that is being complained of.
Mongella who was on five-day visit in Ukerewe District aimed at among other things beefing up of defense and security for the wananchi living in the islands so that they live peacefully and engage in economic activities.
For his part, DC Corner Magembe told the RC that he has already convened a meeting with all fishermen to be held on February 19 this year so as to put in place strategies for the establishment of patrols in all the areas in the district.