Jan 27, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Uganda releases Kenyan students from Luzira prison after paying $400 fine

Four Kenyan students from Busia County who were arrested and sent to Luzira Prison in Uganda for entering Ugandan waters while fishing in Lake Victoria have been released.

The students were released after payment released from a fine of Ksh50,000 ($431) each after spending the last month behind bars.

The students arrived in the city of Busia on Sunday evening after being driven by car from Luzira prison traveled.

They students were arrested on Bumbe beach in Funyula subdistrict.

The released are Stephen Barasa from Sisenye Secondary School, Joseph Sande, an eighth grade student from Busembe – Elementary School, Derick Ouma and Polycarp Makokha, who completed their fourth grade last year at Busijo Secondary School.

Two other students, Bernard Ouma and Meshack Odero, are still being held in custody as their families the fine en could not muster.

The students were among twelve fishermen who were arrested by Ugandan security officers.

“The security officers pounced on us as we were fishing in the lake in the Ugandan waters and will be taken to the maximum security prison of Luzira,” said Barasa.

The students said life in prison is hard because of the prison’s overcrowding.

Ninety-two fishermen from Kenya are in the Jailed.

“It was during the holidays when we went fishing in Lake Victoria and found ourselves in Ugandan waters. We were arrested by Ugandan security officers.

“Twelve of us were arrested and taken to Luzira prison and charged with illegal fishing. The court has fined us 50,000 Sh or 18 months in prison. Life in Luzira prison was difficult. There was no food and sleeping was also a problem,” said Barasa.

The students said their parents were forced to sell their belongings, including cows, to increase the fines.

p>< p>“Fortunately, our parents and relatives managed to increase the sentences and we were released. But our brothers are still behind bars because their parents cannot afford the punishment. We left them in tears and they asked us to do whatever we could to ensure they were released,” Barasa said

“We were forced to sell all valuables to raise money to pay the fines and release the students. Some of the families have sold their cows to free their sons,” Mr Juma said.

He said school-age children, including boys between the ages of 14 and 18, go to the lake for fishing on vacation go to earn some money to support their families.

The children mostly come from poor families.

“A 16-year-old boy is still in prison. When he was released in Kampala and not knowing where to go, he went back to the police for help. But the police arrested him and he is now languishing in prison,” Mr Juma said.