21 May 2017

Tanzania: 21 Years On, MV Bukoba Is Still Remembered

Today Tanzania marks 21 years since the tragic MV Bukoba accident. The Lake Victoria ferry that carried passengers and cargo between the Tanzanian ports of Bukoba and Mwanza was built in 1979 and had capacity for 850 tons of cargo and 430 passengers

On 21 May 1996, MV Bukoba sank 30 nautical miles (56 km) off Mwanza in 25 metres (14 fathoms) of water, killing more than 700 people. The official deaths record is 894.

The manifest for her final voyage showed 443 passengers in her first and second class cabins, but her cheaper third class accommodation had no manifest.

The then Tanzania's President, Hon. Benjamin Mkapa declared three days of national mourning. Criminal charges were brought against nine Tanzania Railway Corporation officials, including the captain of the Bukoba and the manager of TRC's Marine Division.

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