Parents urge Uganda to release Kenyan children held for illegal fishing


4 Kenyan youngsters are being held in Uganda’s Luzira Most Safety Jail for participating in unlawful fishing on that nation’s aspect of Lake Victoria.

The 4 embody two secondary faculty college students, one in every of whom is a KCSE candidate, and two in Commonplace Eight.

The candidates danger lacking their nationwide exams this 12 months after Ugandan authorities slapped every with a Ksh50,000 ($431) fantastic or a jail time period of six months.

Efforts by their dad and mom and guardians to have them launched have been futile.

“We are unable to raise the fine. I tried to convince [prison authorities] to release the school-going children when I visited the prison last week but they were adamant,” mentioned Mr Denis Sikhembo.

“They insisted that the law on juveniles applies only in Kenya and maintained that they will have to pay the fine like everyone else before being set free.”


He mentioned the boys live in dreadful situations and are pressured to work on farms with little meals and no remedy.

The kids had been amongst 60 Kenyan fishermen arrested by Ugandan safety officers on a number of seashores in Budalangi and Funyula on Lake Victoria in the previous few months.

Relations say the 4, who had been introduced in a Kampala court docket, had been discovered responsible of being in possession of unlawful fishing gear.

The Commonplace Eight candidates at Busembe Major Faculty are Kennedy Ojaju and Bendon Ababu, whereas Stephen Barasa (Kind 4) and Benard Ouma (Kind One) are college students at Sisenye Combined Secondary Faculty in Busia County.

Ms Lillian Ochieng urged the federal government to intervene, elevating considerations that her son, who was arrested on April 9, is struggling whereas his fellow college students are again at school.

“I am appealing to the government to help me secure the release of my fourth-born, who is a Form One student at Sisenye Secondary School so he can report back to school,” she acknowledged.

Millicent Ojuku, the mom of 16-year-old Kennedy Ojaju, requested well-wishers to assist.

“All I am requesting is for someone to help me free my son. He needs to get back to school. Others are already in school but mine is still confined within the walls of the Luzira prisons,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, Busia County Commissioner Ahmed Omar mentioned the federal government was conscious of solely two instances of youngsters detained in Uganda.

He mentioned one in every of them was launched on Tuesday, Might 3, after his dad and mom paid a fantastic of Ksh30,000 ($258).

“We are only aware of two cases of minors in Luzira Maximum Prison in Uganda. But there is nothing we can do and they will have to pay the fine or serve the jail term of six months,” he mentioned.

The administrator faulted Kenyan fishermen for defying established guidelines and laws when fishing.

He mentioned fishermen have been warned about utilizing unlawful fishing gear however in useless.

“Our people are the problem. We have sensitised them but they are not cooperating. Ugandans will not entertain them when they fail to adhere to laid-down rules when fishing,” he mentioned.

“We have done what we can. Let them do their part or they will live complaining of harassment from Ugandan authorities.”

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