Dar es Salaam. It has emerged that the captain of MV Nyerere, a ferry, which capsized on Thursday in Lake Victoria killing over 130 people, wasn’t in the ferry, when it capsized.
Addressing the nation on Friday evening, September 21 President John Magufuli said he has information that the captain had left the duty of steering the ferry that fateful day to a person who was not formally trained for the job.
“The captain is already Police custody. I have also ordered that all those responsible for the operations of the MV Nyerere vessel be arrested for questioning,” President Magufuli said in a televised addresses.
Initial reporters indicate that the cause of the accident was overloading, President Magufuli noted. But a committee that will immediately be formed will help us gave more details, the President, who spoke from the Dar es Salaam state House, noted.
136 bodies have been recovered so far, according to the final official tally given by government officials minutes before President Magufuli’s address.
“But is obvious that more bodies are trapped in the capsized vessels. In fact reports I receive show that even the cargo was far more than the 25 tonnes allowed. There were tonnes of maize, crates of beer, building materials. Passengers had also big pieces of luggage as they were going to an open market,” President Magufuli noted.
President Magufuli has announced four days of mourning from Friday and the national flag will fly half-mast.
President Magufuli warned some politicians against using ‘loss of Tanzanians lives’ to gain political mileage.
“We should let authorities do their job and if you have any evidence, you should wait until the matter is taken to court so that they could help the court to deliver justice,” said the President.