Magufuli suspends Temesa boss after MV Nyerere ferry disaster

Monday September 24 2018

President John Magufuli. Photo |File

President John Magufuli. Photo |File 

By Gladys Mbwiga @gladysmbwiga

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli has suspended the Tanzania Electrical and Mechanical Agency (Temesa) director general, Dr Musa Mgwatu, in response to the Lake Victoria ferry tragedy.

MV Nyerere ferry, traveling between the Ukara and Bugolora islets, capsized on September 20 about 50 metres from the berth as it was about to dock.

Until Monday, September 24, 2018, rescue operations had recovered a total of 225 bodies.

Since then, President Magufuli has taken several disciplinary measures against his officials who he believes failed to discharge their duties well leading to the disaster.

Earlier on Monday, he revoked the appointment of the chairman of the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) and disbanded its board of directors.

On Sunday, September 23, the President dissolved the Temesa advisory board, but speaking to Ukara residents a day later, Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa said Dr Magufuli has also suspended the agency’s director general.

“The president has suspended the Temesa director general…Temesa is responsible for all government-owned ferries across the country…the director general is suspended to pave the way for investigation,” he said.

Established in 1997, Temesa’s role is to provide efficient and effective electrical, mechanical and electronic services and reliable, and safe ferry transport services.

Dr Mgwatu suspension comes exactly two years since he became the Temesa director general.

He was appointed to the position in September 2016 by the then Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa.

He replaced Marcellin Magesa. Prior to the appointment, Dr Mgwatu was managing director for Railway Asset Holding Company (Rahco), which has since been merged with Tanzania Railways Limited to form the Tanzania Railways Corporation.