Parliament probes ‘sale of Lake Victoria’

Friday February 24 2012

By Mercy Nalugo

Parliament has opened an investigation into reports that part of Lake Victoria was sold to an investor.

Buikwe South MP Lulume Bayiga yesterday demanded answers from the Executive following complaints by residents of Mukono District that part of the lake is being restricted and heavily guarded by marine police.

He said the investor claims he bought the land around Bulago Island and gazetted the water.
“Impeccable information from a member of a Beach Management Unit, who is also a law enforcer in the association of fisheries and lake users of Uganda, is that security forces led by Uganda Police Marine department prevent any fishing boat from crossing this vast,” Mr Bayiga submitted yesterday.

Speaker rules
This prompted Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to rule that government submits an explanation next week on whether part of the lake was sold.

Mukono North MP Bakaluba Mukasa backed up Mr Bayiga when he submitted that he has received petitions from his constituents in the affected sub-counties claiming that part of Lake Victoria has been sold to an investor.

If it turns out to be true that the lake was sold, it confirms the Forum for Democratic Change president Kiiza Basigye allegations that government is selling lakes in secretive deals.

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Deputy government Chief WhipMoses Ali promised a detailed statement on the matter next week.

Lake sold?

The alleged ring-fenced area has Damba, Taave, Kimmi, Mbivu, Bulago and Sowe islands but residents of Bulago are the most affected.Mpunge Sub-county chair Muwanga Namyalo complained that the investor has arrested several fishermen and confiscated their gear, and that the unnamed investor has documents to show he bought the waters for fish breeding.

mnalugo@ug.nationmedia.com

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