Kenyan Police and Uganda Police had a slight clash at the contested Migingo Island on Saturday. It is alleged that Ugandan Police and fishermen reportedly assaulted an assistant chief and a Kenyan policeman posted to the warring Migingo Island, because of a little misunderstanding.
The Saturday incident took place some days after policemen seized both Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials and their registering equipment for trying to register Kenyan voters on the Island.
The IEBC staff were also assaulted before Kenyan police came to their rescue and aided their release.
According to the administrator who narrated the story, it all began the moment when 10 Ugandan fishermen confronted Assistant Chief Esther Masasi who demanded she joins them to the Ugandan police station.
The Kenyan policeman, Corporal Samwel Ocharo, deployed on the beach, intervened to stop them from taking the administrator any further but received packs of blows from the Ugandan officers who turned him, together with the administrator, into punching bags.
Samwel Ocharo’s attackers left him with severe impairment for trying to save the administrator. She also added that the Ugandan policemen had doubts concerning the legitimacy of her job as an administrator on the disputed island, which they said was supposed to be under the control of the Ugandan government.
The fishermen and some policemen walked up to me as I was sitting close to the beach. On getting to me they told me that Ugandan police chief, Sergeant Denis Nenis needed me to report at the station.
She noted that she resisted their call and told them it wasn’t appropriate that police would send fishermen and policemen at the same time to come fetch her.
But before she could say the last word, they lifted her off her seat and began pouring smack on her.
The Kenyan policeman was then forced to save her, but the man was brutally beaten up and wounded in the process. Fortunately, the administrator was able to flee the Island to Ugingo Island.
A passenger gave a different narration of what might have caused the fight, saying it all started when a handful of Ugandan traders reported that Kenyan authorities were holding their luggage illegally.
A beach official said Kenyan government should be blamed for not taking the security of its locals on the island seriously. The official said only 2-4 Kenyan policemen are deployed to the area while Uganda positions 20-30 of hers in the Island.
The official also hinted that when the fight started out, more Ugandan policemen joined and even extended to Kenyan fishermen, spreading fear on the Island.
In contrast, a Kenyan Border Patrol Marine team led by Sergent Mohamed Ngome, said the two countries’ agencies misunderstood each other, resulting in the pounding of the police officer and area assistant chief.