Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Grounded MV Kalangala Renders Over 300 Jobless

From The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda
Al Mahdi Ssenkabirwa & Martin Ssebuyira

Over 300 employees have been made redundant after Uganda's only active vessel on Lake Victoria, MV Kalangala failed to resume operations. Employees of Mulowoza and Brothers, the firm that manages the ship on behalf of government, tour agents, restaurants and vendors were rendered jobless after the MV Kalangala failed to resume operations on August 31 as had been promised by government.

"People using the ship could always have lunch on the way, buy our crafts and hire youths to carry their luggage but all these people earn nothing now," Ms Nalongo Nalumyanso, a vendor at Nakiwogo waterway told Daily Monitor on September 5.

She said they now sell their merchandise to farmers from Buwaya who take them at a cheaper price, leading to losses. The ship suspended operations on August 17 to allow for its annual inspection and enable it get a new license after the existing one expired. Ms Susan Kataike, the Ministry of Works publicist said last week that when the ship returned from inspection in Mwanza, Tanzania, engineers noticed some mechanical problems which they ordered government to rectify before the ship is licensed to resume carrying passengers.


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