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Illegal fish dealers to be fined Shs40m

By Melanie Aanyu,

Parliament has passed the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill that among others prescribes a Shs40m fine or jail sentence of two years for those found selling fish without a government licence.

The Bill—presented by the chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Ms Janet Okori-Moe—was passed amidst protestations.

Ms Okori-Moe nonetheless proceeded, insisting that “the current fine and penalty is too harsh and not commensurate with the offence” of trading in fish or fish products without a fish monger’s licence.

Before the provision was endorsed, a section of lawmakers attempted to whittle down the Shs40m fine.
They reasoned that most fish vendors and mongers operate on shoestring budgets.
Ms Hellen Adoa, the junior Fisheries minister, however reasoned that penalties by their very nature are supposed to be prohibitive.
The minister’s position was supported by House Speaker Anita Among who chaired the plenary session.

The Deputy Attorney General, Mr Jackson Kafuuzi also echoed these sentiments.