Government: “Boat was faulty and police warned operator against using it”
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on November 26, 2018
Minutes before the fateful trip, the Marine Police warned operators of the boat that capsized in lake Victoria on Saturday evening to abort the journey but the owners insisted that they had to go, a government minister has said.
Aggrey Bagiire, the minister of state for Transport told NBS TV that questions had been raised about the boat that capsized in the waters of Lake Victoria on Saturday evening but its operators did not take heed. “The boat was not tested and it was faulty. The operator realised that there was a problem with the boat and tried to manoeuvre it to Mutima Beach. It however capsized 300 meters away. Unfortunately even some of the rescuers lost their lives. As government we feel bad because we are trying to promote tourism,” Bagiire said. At least 30 bodies have been retrieved from the lake while 26 people were rescued. About 70 others are said to be missing and are presumed to be dead. Bagiire said a former operator of the boat told them that the boat was not in good mechanical condition and the marine police had refused the boat to take off from K Palm Beach but the owners and other revellers overpowered the police. “Government did its work. We urge people to respect the warnings by the police. This should serve as a big warning,” he said. Bagiire said the boat had no license, it was not registered and had not been inspected before it set off. He said: “That boat was one of our targets. They would hide it. Our team led by a one Ategeka were told that the boat was no longer plying the waters but they lied.”