23 September 2018

Tanzania: Minister Lugola Warns Against Inflammatory Statements

Home Affairs Minister, Mr Kangi Lugola has warned people to desist from spreading false information that might cause turmoil in the country, following the capsizing of MV Nyerere in Lake Victoria of Mwanza Region on Thursday.

The Minister said that those who will be found on the wrong side of the law will face the consequences. The warning comes a day after President John Magufuli cautioned politicians about taking advantage of the situation to gain political mileage and cheap publicity.

Mr Lugola issued the warning when he visited Ukara Island to supervise the ongoing rescue exercise, citing that some people are spreading own statistical information on the accident while others are publishing the same on social media.

He directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro to take action, through the Cybercrime Act, against all those responsible for providing own statistics and spreading false information.

"On that note, three people have already been listed; we are urging them to drop their plans... As for those who are mudslinging the government thinking that it is the one creating these accidents and claiming to have details, we are going to demand their support in probing the issue.

"We are going to arrest all those inciting and if possible will join them among suspected people to provide their testimonies for they know much," emphasised Mr Lugola.

The Minister also urged people to refrain from using the incident as a platform to gain political mileage, to incite enmity between the people and their government.

They should stop grouping people. He stressed that the government through its security organs will continue to preserve the existing peace and security around the area where the incident happened along with that of the entire nation.

"This incident has shaken and brought sadness to the country but the same has not affected the pillars of peace, unity and harmony...will continue to foster this," he noted.

Besides the warning, he disclosed that the search for the bodies will continue as normal with great zeal calling upon the rescue team to work tirelessly without losing hope during the entire time until they are able to remove the ferry from the waters.

The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Venance Mabeyo observed that they are waiting for MV Nyehunge and equipment for reversing (righting) MV Nyerere which capsized in Lake Victoria of Mwanza Region on Thursday. General Mabeyo disclosed that MV Nyehunge was on its way to Ukara Island from Mwanza to carry out the righting exercise.

He also pointed out that the bodies of the deceased were not in good shape prompting them to request the permission of families and relatives of the victims whose bodies had been identified to be buried there.

And, for unidentified bodies, there are plans to ask for special permits from the government for their burial to take place.

The CDF commended the work which is being done by the rescue team together with other people involved in the exercise to salvage the bodies and people trapped in the ferry.

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