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Hii Sehemu ni Yetu au ni yao?..Ubishi na Wakenya

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ab-Titchaz, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
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    Another ‘Migingo' saga brewing in Indian Ocean

    Updated 17 hr(s) 36 min(s) ago

    By Patrick Beja

    Another fishing conflict that reflects the Migingo island saga has caused unfriendly ripples along Kenya's most southerly border point with Tanzania.

    Kenyan fishermen who inhabit Vanga, a small hamlet that is the last inhabited point before the border, claim they have come under sustained harassment by Tanzanian security forces who bar them from fishing along the maritime border.

    Vanga has been one of the leading ancient fishing villages along the coastline, supplying most of the fish stocks for Mombasa and the entire south coast.

    But over 350 fishermen who work the vast stretch of coast that stretches close to 200 nautical kilometres claim the Tanzanian authorities have a replicated a ‘Migingo' over them.

    The fishermen say in recent past many of them have been arrested while on the Kenyan side of the maritime border and thrown into Tanzanian jails.


    Fisherman Musa Pandu.

    Mr Musa Pandu, a fisherman for the last 10 years, says Tanzania has put a ring of security personnel who "arrest us, fine us or take us to their courts".Pandu, 34, has was arrested three times near Moa fishing grounds, allegedly tortured, prosecuted and fined together with other Kenyan fishermen.

    Recently, he was among 30 fishermen who were fined the equivalent of Sh10,000 each and another Sh100,000 for their boat by a Tanzanian court in Tanga.

    Harith Mohamed who is secretary of the Vanga Beach Management Units (BMU) says the Tanzanians arrest then the accuse them with non-compliance with fishing rules or trespass.

    Mohamed said: "They demanded we show them fishing permits issued by our Fisheries Department which we have never been given," Pandu said.

    He said right now three of their colleagues are undergoing trial in Tanzania.
    Some have been forced many times to part with bribes to avoid the legal process.

    Planned crackdown

    To beat the Tanzanian joint, the Vanga fishermen say, they have had to establish a network of agents in the neighbouring country who inform them of planned crackdowns.

    "When things are bad, our Tanzanian agents alert us and we don't venture along borderline waters," Mohamed says.


    Fish mongers at Vanga's fish market.

    He said Tanzanian fishermen freely venture into Kenya, all the way from Vanga to Malindi, yet the Government seems unconcerned about the plight of the Vanga fishermen.

    "We are in trouble because there are no buoys to mark our boundary with Tanzania. We face a similar experience with Migingo fishermen and the authorities should resolve this conflict," Mohamed said.

    Coast Assistant director of Fisheries Mrs Martha Mukira confirmed the department was aware of the conflict between Kenyan fishermen and Tanzanian security personnel.

    However, she said the Vanga fishermen would soon be issued with licences complete with their photographs so as to comply with requirements of the neighbouring country.

    "The fisheries department and even the Coast Provincial Administration have talked to the Tanzanian authorities and we have agreed to comply with their regulations," she said.

    Kenya will similarly enforce fisheries regulations for foreign fishermen and alien fishing vessels and step up the campaign against destructive fishing methods such as use of explosives (dynamite fishing) along the Coast.

    According to Mukira, a fishing vessel venturing into Kenya will have to pay $20,000 (about Sh1.5 million). This would control the influx of fishermen from Pemba blamed for use of dynamite and narrow nets, which destroy fingerlings. More than 500 fishermen from Pemba are known to cross over to Kenya to fish between September and March.

    Apart from frequent arrests by Tanzanian security forces, Vanga fishermen are opposed to the Fisheries Department's newly installed storage facility at the Vanga landing beach.

    The fishermen say they had asked the Government to build an ice plant that would produce ice blocks that are required to in-transit preservation.

    The Sh17.5 million project attached to the Vanga main fish market has been lying idle for a year after being commissioned by the Minister for Fisheries Development Dr Paul Otuoma.

    Suitable project

    But Mukira said the project was the most appropriate for the area and could even be used for horticultural produce.

    "That project can be used for storage and to produce ice blocks. It can also be used to preserve fish," she said, blaming the fishermen of ignorance.

    She noted that the Ministry of Fisheries Development was re-organising the BMU members for rigorous training to improve their activities.

    At the same time, the fishermen are in conflict with a logger licensed by the Government to harvest mangrove poles in the area.

    Members of the BMU have impounded piles of mangrove poles at the Vanga pier saying they were never consulted when logging was authorised.

  2. J

    JokaKuu Platinum Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
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    ..hicho ndicho kinachopaswa kufanyika.

    ..lakini nadhani Tanzania ikifanya hivyo kutakuwa na makelele toka kila mwanachama wa EA.