Two Zambian fishermen who were arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal fishing on that country’s side of Lake Kariba have been sentenced to six months prison at the Magistrate court in Kariba town.
Siavonga District Commissioner ( DC ) Lovemore Kanyama who attended the court proceedings yesterday in Kariba said the two fishermen Fridas Maguswi 29 and Webby Nyambe 35 will serve their jail sentence in Zimbabwe.
The duo was arrested on Monday this week.
Mr Kanyama said the fishermen were sentenced to six months imprisonment for failing to observe the water boundary on Lake Kariba, as they were pushed into Zimbabwe by a strong current while fishing.
He also bemoaned that the two fishermen were also beaten by the Zimbabwean security forces when they were arrested and they had bruises on their bodies.
“I was in Zimbabwe today 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,” Mr. Kanyama said.
He has urged the Zimbabwean security to treat Zambian offenders humanely in a similar manner 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 both Ministry 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.