Nchelenge District Commissioner, Joseph Chisakula, has called on the Department of Fisheries to disband some Village Management Committees (VMCs) which have been reported to be corrupt.
Mr Chisakula says his office has received reports that some village committees, such as the one in Kabuta area, are illegally charging fishermen caught conducting fishing activities sums of between KR 250 and KR 700.
He said the role of the village committees is to ensure that individuals found wanting are taken to the relevant authorities for prosecution and not to dispense kangaroo justice on them.
The DC was speaking yesterday at Sub-Chief Mwepya’s Palace in Kabuta area when he met with headpersons and the business community in the area.
Mr Chisakula said it was disheartening to see that people engaged to protect the fish resource have succumbed to corruption.
He said the fishing ban, which is currently in force, is not for the benefit of government, but for the fishing communities and their families.
“We conduct the fish ban to allow fish to reproduce so that even the future generations can also enjoy the breams that we are enjoying now. So if you finish the fish what do you expect to happen in future?, “ Mr Chisakula questioned.
In a related development, the Department of Fisheries has said it will not allow fishing boats that have not been surveyed by the Marine Department at the Ministry of Communication and Transport to be used in water bodies.
Nchelenge District Fisheries Co-ordinator, Bright Nyimbili , said this will be in line with the Fisheries Act which specifies what kind of boats should be allowed to sail on water.
He was however quick to say the current crop of boats working on Lake Mweru, especially the Anchor Boats which spends months on Lake Mweru, are not fit to be on Water.
The meeting, which was well attended, discussed among other things the need to upgrade Kabuta Rural Health Centre, to construct a Police Post and tarring of the Kashikishi-Lunchinda Road.