said on Sunday the number of people who died in a ferry that
capsized in Lake Victoria had risen to 224 and the vessel’s
managers had been detained for questioning.
The ferry, MV Nyerere, sank on Thursday evening just a few
metres from the dock on Ukerewe, the lake’s biggest island.
Works, Transport and Communication Minister Isack Kamwelwe
told state broadcaster TBC the death toll had risen to 224 as of
The definitive cause of the capsizing is not yet known but
officials have said preliminary investigation shows the ferry
was carrying more people than legally permitted.
Boat accidents on Lake Victoria, which is shared by the East
African countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, are common
often caused by lax safety laws, weak enforcement and old and
poorly maintained vessels.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told TBC officials involved
in managing the ferry had been detained.
“The government will form a special investigation commission
of experts which will investigate the source of the accident and
legal measures will be taken against all who were involved in
causing the tragedy,” he said.
A search and rescue team has been attempting to flip the
ship, which is belly up in the waters, back to its normal
position so it can be towed to the dock.
General Venance Mabeyo,
the head of the military, said this could take two to three