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Magufuli orders arrest of MV Nyerere operator

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Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the arrest of the management of a ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria, as the death toll climbed to 131 and rescue workers pressed on with the search to find scores more people feared drowned.

The MV Nyerere may have been carrying as many as 200 passengers — double the ferry’s capacity — when it capsized close to the pier on Ukara Island on Thursday, according to reports on state media.

Witnesses reached by AFP said the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock.

Mr Magufuli referred to “negligence” and said he had ordered the arrest of “all those involved in the management of the ferry”, during a speech on TBC One public television.

“It appears clear that the ferry was overloaded,” he said, adding that “the arrests have already begun”.

The president also declared four days of national mourning while saying at least 131 people had died, updating an earlier death toll of 126.

Mwanza governor John Mongella had earlier said the number of survivors was 40, but it was unclear whether any new survivors had been found since rescue operations resumed with police and army divers on Friday morning.

“Operations are continuing,” he said, but hopes are fading that more survivors might still be found.

State television cited witnesses reporting that more than 200 people had boarded the ferry at Bugolora, a town on the larger Ukerewe Island, where it was market day when locals said the vessel was usually packed with people and goods.

“I have not heard from either my father or my younger brother who were on the ferry. They had gone to the market in Bugolora to buy a school uniform and other supplies for the new school term,” said Domina Maua, who was among those seeking information about loved ones.

Davita Ngenda, an elderly woman in Ukara, had already received bad news.

“My son is among the bodies recovered,” she said, weeping. “He had gone with his wife but she has not been found yet. My God, what did I do to deserve this?”

Sebastian John, a teacher, said such tragedies had become part of life for those living on the lake.

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“Since my birth, people have gone to their deaths on this lake, but what are we to do? We did not choose to be born here, we have nowhere to go,” he said.

It remains unclear how many people are still missing.

Tanzania’s Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency, which is responsible for ferry services, said it was unknown how many passengers were aboard the MV Nyerere.

The ageing ferry, whose hull and propellers were all that remained visible after it overturned, was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement, when it capsized around 50 metres (55 yards) from Ukara dock.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently to blame for such incidents.

The country’s opposition has accused the government of “negligence”.

“We have often raised concerns about the poor condition of this ferry, but the government turned a deaf ear. We have repeatedly denounced this negligence,” said John Mnyika, deputy secretary general of Chadema, the main opposition party.

Mnyika said overloading was “another failure of the authorities” and criticised “inadequate relief efforts as well as delays” in the rescue operation.

With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), oval-shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

Capsizes are not uncommon in the massive lake, and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many people in the region cannot swim.

The deadliest such accident in recent decades was in May 1996, when around 800 people died after their ferry sank on the way to Mwanza in Tanzania.



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Is Orengo charting his path away from Raila?

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History of intense rivalry between him and Opposition leader, alleged sabotage in 2013 and 2017 elections and talk of betrayal ahead of 2022.

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Police Deploy Chopper to Rescue Students Lost in Forest for 4 Days –

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Three students who went missing after a forest adventure in Mt Kenya, Karatina, Nyeri County, were finally rescued on Saturday after four days in the jungle.

Four days without food, the boys told members of the press that they survived by the grace of God.

17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17, and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20, went missing on May 4.

Muhoro is a Form Three student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a Form Three but at Ihwagi Secondary School while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

Also found alive were two dogs that were in the company of the three when they were reported missing.

Read: Missing Businesswoman Caroline Wanjiku Maina’s Body Found In A Kajiado Mortuary

The rescue team comprised of police officers who after four days of futile search deployed a National Police Service chopper to locate the students who were on the verge of despair.

In the Saturday search, the Nation reports, the officers teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.

In an interview with the local publication, Muhoro revealed that they were hiking when they lost their way back home.

“It was by the grace of God that we survived for four days without food and other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro said in a phone interview.

Read Also: Missing Thika Millionare Julius Gitau Found Alive – Police

“We literally groped in the dark after losing our way back home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we had not carried any food.”

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According to the student, the trio entered the forest through Ragati gate but couldn’t trace their way home hours later.

“We found ourselves deep into the dense woods. I don’t know how far it was from the edges of the forest but we were exhausted,” he said.

“We could not even tell the time since it was constantly dark. That is when panic set in.”

They could not communicate with anyone back at home as their mobile phones lost signals.

Read Also: Son To Murdered Kiambaa Family Reported Missing

“We started moving in the forest, literary going in circles in a desperate attempt to find our way out,” Muhoro said.

Days later as they moved around the forest with the hope of finding an exit, they ‘miraculously’ met some police officers and forest rangers who alerted the rest of the search team.

Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who led the operation, said the trio’s disappearance was reported at Karatina Police Station the same day they went missing and a search operation launched immediately.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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Police in hot pursuit of gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident – KBC

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The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

Kiambu based detectives are pursuing a dangerous and armed criminal gang that car-jacked a Ruaka resident on Friday, before disappearing with his Toyota Premio as he drove to his residence.

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According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI), the victim had pulled over by the apartment’s gate at Ruaka One River Apartments, unaware that a gang of three assailants was laying in wait for him.

As the gates opened, the driver’s window was suddenly smashed with an iron rod, before two shots were fired in the air from a pistol in an attempt to subdue him.

However, he managed to force his way into the parking lot, but before he could jump out of the car and scamper to safety, the trio caught up with him and roughed him up before grabbing his car keys and phone.

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On receiving the report, DCI detectives based at Kiambaa launched a manhunt for the suspects.

The vehicle was found abandoned in Kagongo village, having been vandalized.

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Its rear and front headlights, side mirrors, all tyres, nose guard, boot and radio had been stolen.

Detectives believe that the three suspects are part of a larger criminal syndicate operating within Kiambu County.

They have been targeting taxi drivers while posing as customers, only to turn against them at isolated places, then vandalize their vehicles.

” Some members of the syndicate have previously been arrested and arraigned in court.” Said the DCI

The DCI has cautioned Kenyans on this trend of crime.

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