Kenyan fishermen now have to sign ‘visitors’ book’ to enter Migingo

Published on

By Nick Oluoch

Only a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga told Parliament the disputed Migingo island belonged to Kenya, Ugandan authorities have introduced new tougher rules.

Kenyans visiting the island are now treated as foreigners and have to sign a visitors’ book and explain their mission, fishermen told The Standard.

Ugandans have hoisted two flags on the island, one for the police force and the other their national flag.

Fishermen said there were still about 60 Ugandan police officers on the island.

“Non-Ugandans visiting the island must now indicate in the visitors’ book the duration of their stay on the island,” said Walter Anyona, a fisherman.

He added: “The Ugandans are tightening their grip on the island,” said Mr Anyona.

He said a few Kenyan fishermen who returned to the island and agreed to pay the Sh60,000-a-year tax to Uganda were under close police surveillance.

Meanwhile, the Luo Council of Elders has called on President Kibaki and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to directly intervene and resolve the issue.

Chairman Riaga Ogalo said the situation was getting out of hand and needed a speedy resolution to save the Kenyan fishermen, whose source of livelihood was threatened.

Ogalo said the council was deeply concerned over hostility shown to the fishermen by the Ugandan authority over the island that was rightfully in Kenya.

The council’s deputy chairman Adero Osawa appealed to Museveni to uphold the good relationship between the two countries by withdrawing his army from the island.

Migori DC Julius Mutula, however, disputed claims that Kenyan fishermen still living on the island were being harassed.

There are fears that fish shortage could be experienced in Migori, Rongo and Homa Bay districts unless the issue of the ownership of the island is resolved.

|   |    |    Comments (6) |   Add Comment

Today’s magazine

    Sunday Magazine
A will to live: Lorna’s kidney odyssey

The name Lorna Irungu rekindles memories of the 1990s TV game show Omo Pick a Box, the Vijana Tugutuke voting campaign and an upbeat, energetic and feisty young woman who is always ready to use her talents to champion a cause. But Lorna’s life is not all fun and games. The 35-year-old has had more than her fair share of pain and suffering. She has battled lupus and kidney failure for more than 10 years, and her most recent ordeal has left her asking what God really wants of her. Having already undergone two kidney transplant operations, Lorna never imagined she would need a third.