By The Citizen
The burial of the victims of the MV Nyerere ferry disaster starts Sunday as the death toll reaches 218.
The chief of defence forces Venance Mabeyo on Saturday told reporters that the burial of the victims would start on Sunday due to inadequate mortuary facilities and the bad condition of most of the bodies.
“We are going to ask the government to allow us bury all those who have not yet been identified. And we also encourage relatives to bury their loved ones right here instead of transporting them far away,” General Mabeyo told reporters in Ukara Island on Saturday.
The minister for Transport, Communication and Works Isack Kamwelwe also told reporters that the death toll had reached 218 by Saturday evening.
Forty seven more bodies have been spotted and would be recovered in the ongoing recovery operation.
About 171 bodies have already been identified and 112 already taken by relatives for burial, Mr Kamwelwe said.
The MV Nyerere ferry capsized on Thursday afternoon a few metres before docking at the Ukara Island on Lake Victoria.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the arrest of the management of a ferry.
In a speech broadcast on TBC 1 public television, Magufuli said “it appears clear that the ferry was overloaded”, adding that “negligence has cost us so many lives… children, mothers, students, old people”.
“I ordered the arrest of all those involved in the management of the ferry. The arrests have already begun,” he added.
The president declared four days of national mourning while saying at least 131 people had died, updating an earlier death toll of 126.
Magufuli also announced the government would cover the funeral expenses of the victims.