New Zimbabwe.com

Lake Kariba: Zimbabwe jails two Zambians for illegal fishing; Lusaka unimpressed with their treatment

TWO Zambian fishermen who were arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal fishing on the latter country’s side of Lake Kariba have been jailed for six months.

The two men were sentenced at the Magistrate court in Kariba town.

Siavonga District Commissioner (DC) Lovemore Kanyama who attended the court proceedings in Kariba said Fridas Maguswi, 29, and Webby Nyambe, 35, will serve their sentences in Zimbabwe.

The duo was arrested on Monday this week.

Kanyama said the fishermen were arrested for failing to observe the water boundary on Lake Kariba, as they were pushed into Zimbabwe by a strong current while fishing.

He also claimed that the two men were beaten by the Zimbabwean security forces when they were arrested and had bruises on their bodies.

“I was in Zimbabwe to attend their case and I can confirm that the two sustained bruises on their faces, which I can describe as unfortunate looking at the cordial relationship we have with Zimbabwe,” Kanyama said.

He urged the Zimbabwean security forces to treat Zambian offenders humanely in a same way Zimbabweans who commit similar offences are treated on the Zambian side in Siavonga District.

“In a gesture of good will, Zimbabwean fishermen who commit similar offences (on the Zambian side) at times they are released unconditionally which should be reciprocated, “ he said.

He said what he witnessed in Zimbabwe was not pleasing compared to how they treat Zimbabwean fishermen who commit similar offences on the Zambian side of Lake Kariba.

The DC has since appealed to the ministries of foreign affairs in Zambia and Zimbabwe to resolve fishing cases for fishermen.

Cases of Zambian fishermen being arrested are on an increase. In 2017 there were more than 40 Zambians fishermen serving jail sentences for illegal fishing on the Zimbabwean side of Lake Kariba.