By Emmanuel Chacha, The Citizen Reporter
- The acting manager for Marine Services Company, Mr Projest Kaija, said Sumatra and the ship registrar had inspected the ship and allowed it to continue with regular trips
The Lake Zone officer in charge for Sumatra, Mr Bahati Musiba, told The Citizen on Saturday that following the problem that caused the 54-year- old ship to delay its trip to Mwanza had thorough inspections done by Sumatra to make sure the ship was technically fit.
“On Friday [last week] night when the ship was leaving Bukoba Port the captain experienced some technical faults as its steering was not working and the radar was off. They made consultations with engineers and used emergency service that enabled them to arrive at Kemondo Bay.”
“After that the problem was solved and continued with the journey on Saturday morning and our officers were there. And when it arrived in Mwanza we sent ship inspectors to verify whether she is viable to work. In the last two weeks the Chief Ship Inspector was here and the ship [MV Victoria] was fully inspected. There are some very minor problems like colours, seats but not for the safety of the ship and its passengers. This is why we allowed them to continue operating.
“We are very much concerned with the security of wananchi so we could not allow the ship to operate while it has some significant technical faults that threaten the lives of the people,” he said
The Sumatra officer for Kagera Region, Mr Alex Katama, said the ship was allowed to continue with its jouney on that day after the technical problems that were caused by electrical faults were solved.
“What happened is that after departing from Bukoba the ship captain noticed that the steering was not working and the power supply was not available, hence the ship radar was also not working. The electrical technicians came from Mwanza the next day and solved the problems. The ship is now okay,” he said
The acting manager for Marine Services Company (MSC), Mr Projest Kaija, said Sumatra and the ship registrar had inspected the ship and allowed it to continue with regular trips.
“After that problem the ship was inspected by Sumatra and allowed us to operate the same day [Saturday)]and as we are talking now [yesterday] it is in Bukoba. It is a common fault that can happen even if you are using a car. But technically our ship is fit and stable for more than 20 years to come.
“ The ship was made in 1960 in Scotland and arrived here in 1961, but we have been doing major rehabilitations including replacement of the engines and other necessary services. So the stability of the ship is not a problem and our ship engines have never collapsed since they were replaced,” he said.