Six Kenyan fishermen are facing attempted robbery with violence charges in Tanzania and are set to go to trial today (Monday).
The suspects were arrested in May while on a fishing expedition in Lake Victoria. Their boats were also seized.
They are said to have been in a heated confrontation with their Tanzanian counterparts forcing the authorities to swing into action.
They were taken to Sota Beach police in North Mara District.
Efforts to have them released have proved futile as Tanzanian authorities have been demanding for large sums of money.
Kibro’s Beach Management Unit chairman, Maulid Joel, has in the past tried to negotiate their release but Tanzania has been reluctant to let them go.
Families of the fishermen who are without legal representation have managed to raise Sh120,000, an amount Tanzania maintains is too little.
“We sent a delegation to try and negotiate the terms of the fishermen’s release, but the Tanzanians demanded Ksh40,000 for every fisherman, an amount we were not in a position to raise,” said Maulid.
Condemning the act, Nyatike Member of Parliament, Tom Odege, said Tanzanians stray into Kenyan territories without consequence.
“The territorial boundaries in the lake are not clearly spelled out, and in most cases, it’s the Tanzanian security teams that end up straying into Kenyan waters,” said Odege.
“Fishing expeditions are often done in the night and it becomes hectic to ascertain the exact borderlines.”