Six mortar bombs were on Thursday morning discovered by fishermen, who were on a fishing expedition close to Lake Victoria’s Ngodhe Islands in Mbita, Homabay County.
According to the fishermen spokesperson Edward Ochieng, the three had set sail as night settled on Thursday, aboard a mortar-powered fishing vessel. Armed with a lantern, the trio ventured into the still waters of the world’s second largest fresh water lake in the hope of a handsome catch of the delicious silver cyprinid known in local Luopean dialect as Omena.
As is the tradition passed on from their forefathers, the fishermen cast their nets into the still waters and lit up the lantern, as the gentle winds whipped the waters leaving a whisper that reassured the fishermen of an exceedingly bountiful expedition.
With the paraffin lantern illuminating against the water to attract the much revered Omena delicacy, the boat sailed with ease towards Ngodhe when their net suddenly became heavier than usual! “Mano nyaka bed ni mbuta maduong!” “That must be a giant mbuta!” One of them exclaimed.
Beaming with excitement at the thought of the fortune that awaited them at the fishmonger’s shop the following morning, they joined hands in hauling the heavy net back to the boat! But shock of their lives came when they discovered that they had caught six heavy pieces of metal resembling bombs and only a half-full gorogoro of omena!
“Egombo Mar ng’eyo gima ne oum maber dhogi nomoko kagiyudo ni ne en mbom auchiel Mar mortar! Piny nobedo malich ka kama ichole punda to mbura goyo kathirathira negipito ngwech…..,” “We cannot wait for the bombs to go off!!” argued two of them as they leapt into the hippo infested waters fearing for their lives, leaving their counterpart to figure out his next course of action.
He however managed to steer the boat ashore and reported the incident to the beach management chairman, who escalated the matter to DCI detectives based at Mbita.
Luckily, the duo who plunged into the water swum to the safety of other boats unscathed, as the dangerous mammals with a jaw that can cut a human body in half grazed on the island.
The 80mm bombs were kept in safe custody at the Mbita Subcounty Police Headquarters, awaiting disposal by Bomb Disposal and Hazardous Materials detectives based in Kisumu city.