Hamukale expresses worry over killing of fishermen on Kariba

Hamukale expresses worry over killing of fishermen on Kariba

By Lame Itisen

SOUTHERN Province minister Edify Hamukale says reports of Zambian fishermen being killed and arrested on Lake Kariba by the Zimbabwean authorities is worrying.

Speaking in Siavonga during a meeting with the public service officials at the council chamber on Thursday, Hamukale said he had also received numerous reports of Zambian fishermen being shot, harassed and their fishing rigs confiscated by their Zimbabwean counterparts.

“My office has received complaints and numerous reports that our fishermen are being harassed on the lake by Zimbabwean authorities. I think the two countries have enjoyed the bilateral relations for so many years and I don’t know why people could fight over the waters for both countries. I have been informed that sometimes fishing vessels for Zambians are being confiscated by their counterparts and some vessels don’t come back to Zambia and some people have been killed there,” Hamukale said.

He advised that a joint meeting is held between Zambia and Zimbabwe to solve the prevailing situation.

“I think in the interest of the international relations between Zambia and Zimbabwe, time has come for the two countries to have a stakeholder joint meeting between the Zimbabwean side and Zambian side in the presence of the ministries of home affairs so that we sort out this issue. Zimbabwe and Zambia are too good friends which some of us you can’t even differentiate who is a Zimbabwean or Zambian. I’m very disappointed with that development,” said Hamukale.

And Siavonga district commissioner Lovemore Kanyama disclosed that over 40 Zambian fishermen had been jailed in Zimbabwe for illegal fishing on Lake Kariba.

“I remember in August last year, we had a joint meeting with our friends in Zimbabwe to solve the water wrangles on Lake Kariba and everything went on well but we are surprised our friends in Zimbabwe have continued to shoot and kill our fishermen on the lake. The minister I can tell you that it’s difficult to find the boundaries on the lake but them the Zimbabweans say they know the boundaries on the water. This has led to our fishermen being arrested and shot on the lake. As I’m speaking, over 40 Zambian fishermen are jailed in Zimbabwe,” said Kanyama.