A section of senators have called for the resignation of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Monica Juma over the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that provided for the joint administration of the controversial Migingo Island on Lake Victoria.
While terming the deal signed between the governments of Kenya and Uganda as unconstitutional, the irate lawmakers warned that ceding even an inch of Kenyan territory to an external government will amount to high treason.
“A government that cedes an inch of its territory has no business governing. The CS must withdraw or resign,” Vihiga Senator George Khaniri demanded.
“It is high treason to surrender an inch of our territory to any other sovereign. CS Juma is surrendering Kenya sovereignty on Migingo to Uganda in violation of clear constitutional provisions,” Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula said on the floor of the House yesterday.
At the same time, the legislators accused the Executive of “pussyfooting” in its obligation to defend Kenya’s territory, saying it always acts softly whenever the territory comes under threat from neighbouring states.
Migingo Island Issue
Right after the Post-election Violence in 2007, the issue of a little known island that sits on the maritime border of Kenya and Uganda on Lake victoria began that the then administration of President Mwai Kibaki.
The issue became so emotive with the locals stating that the government had sold them to Uganda. At one point, the Ugandan police were seen lowering the Kenyan flag on the island. A depiction that the island belonged to Uganda.
The Kibaki administration habdled the matter with total silence lending credence to some ruoir that the island was given to Museveni after he supported Kibaki in the contested 2007 general elections.
The 2,000-square-metre island is an unsinkable fishing boat.
The waters around the island has a lot of Nile Pearch which is a lucrative export to the European Union.
For this reason, Kenya and Uganda (which has the biggest water mass of Lake Vicitoria) fights for it. The island is also densely populated.
Harrasement of fishermen
Fishermen in Kenya are perenially harassed by the Ugandan police for ‘flouting’ territorial integrity and fishing in Ugandan waters.
The issue has never been fully adressed or given the attention it deserves by the Kenyan government.
Recently, it was discovered that Kenyan and Ugandan security agencies collude to have the fishermen arrested so that they can, in turn, share the loot from the bribes, mostly rangine from Ksh30,000 to Ksh50,000 the fishermen pay so as to be released.
Many have gone out of business and fallen into poverty due to this. Others (Kenyans) are rotting away in Uganda jails.
‘Because of a strong Kenyan currency and ill-equipped security personnel to undertake patrols in the lake, the underworld kingpins have created a thriving enterprise and new entrants are not tolerated’. the Standard Reported.
Torture, extortion and harassment, have become a new nightmare for thousands of fishermen trawling the waters of what is Africa’s largest freshwater lake.
The Kenyan govenment is silent on this and has now ceded part of Kenya to Ugandans.
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