Dodoma — The government has announced three days of National mourning following a boat tragedy that hit, claiming the lives of 31 people while over 200 others are missing.
The disaster also saw the National Assembly observing a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims before adjourning Thursday's session until tomorrow.
Giving a preliminary report on the disaster, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office--Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Willim Lukuvi, said that as of Thursday morning, 31 deaths had been confirmed while 113 others were still missing.
Mr Lukuvi said following the disaster, flags will be hoisted half mast from Thursday to Saturday.
He said said 146 have been rescued and the operation was in progress. He said that 290 passengers were traveling in the ill-fated boat including 250 adults, 31 children and nine crew members.
He said that there were also 16 tourists in the boat of which 14 have been rescued while the other two are still missing. Mr Lukivi said that the Isle's government was preparing for the burial of the retrieved bodies and more efforts were being done to recover those who are missing.
The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anne Makinda, went on to declare the postponement of Thursday's Bunge activities. She said that Thursday's MPs allowances will be directed towards the victims. She said that 18 MPs left Dodoma on Wednesday evening for Zanzibar.
MV Skagit capsized on Wednesday about 14 nautical miles from the Port of Zanzibar while heading to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam. Preliminary reports have it that it capsized when it got hit by strong winds accompanied by high waves.