THE government has ordered Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) to take legal and disciplinary measures against its staff working with MV Liemba that plies in Lake Tanganyika for occasioning loss.
Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Atashasta Nditiye issued the order yesterday following reports of massive losses that the government incurred in the operations of the vessel.
Speaking to Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) management in Kigoma, the Deputy Minister said despite the government taking some deliberate measures to rectify the situation, including transferring some workers it was imperative for the management to sort out all employees who caused loss, subjecting them to legal and disciplinary measures.
“Despite the fact that the government undertook some measures in an attempt to turn around matters, MSCL management must deal with those who deliberately caused MV Liemba to operate at a loss,” he ordered.
“I am informed that after the change of faces in the MSCL management and transfer of some MV Liemba workers, the vessel has begun making profits, the Deputy Minister said. He added: “By turning around the trend it does not mean that some miracles happened. It is the reflection of the truth that some workers were sabotaging the vessel’s operations.” He said it was strange to learn that despite not being paid salaries MV Liemba workers were not ready to see the vessel grounded. “It doesn’t mean that they were patriotic, they knew how they were benefiting.”
Acting MCSL Manager Erick Hamis said after being appointed to head the company, he made some operational changes, the measures that have started to bear fruits, including bringing profits to MV Liemba. He said by the time he was appointed to lead the company MV Liemba was incurring loss amounting to Sh10 million every trip while consuming 12,500 litres of fuel.
“Today MV Liemba brings profit amounting to 10 million/- every trip it plies while consuming 9,500 litres of fuel. This means that 3,000 litres of fuel were being stolen in every trip that the vessel made,” he said. Mr Hamis said having conducted his own investigations, he established that some MV Liemba staff used to have their passengers in each trip of the vessel from whom they collected cash.
“Some staff members had their own allocation of tonnage transported by the ship while others were sharing cash from fuel theft. It was a sophisticated network that involved many workers. It is impossible to arrest just one person,” he said. He said procedures were already underway to verify offences committed by certain individuals, adding that