MV Mwongozo anchored at Kigoma Port
|Operator:||Marine Services Company Limited|
|In service:||1982 onwards|
|Identification:||IMO number: 7636523|
|Length:||59.5 m (195 ft)|
|Beam:||9.6 m (31 ft)|
|Draught:||2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)|
MV Mwongozo is a mixed passenger and cargo ferry on Lake Tanganyika operated by the Marine Services Company Limited. She can carry up to 800 passengers and 80 tons of cargo. Her accommodation includes open sleeping areas, individual cabins and a passenger dining saloon. She can take cars and small trucks on her forward deck.
Mwongozo was built by a Finnish company for the Tanzania Railways Corporation. Her original route was a weekly return route from Bujumbura, Burundi to Mpulungu, Zambia, calling at Kigoma, Tanzania and various small settlements along the Tanzanian coast of the lake.
In 1997 the UNHCR used Mwongozo and Liemba to transport more than 75,000 refugees, who had fled Zaire during the First Congo War, back to their homeland following the overthrow of longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
Also in 1997, TRC's inland shipping division became a separate company, the Marine Services Company Ltd.
Regional instabilities during the early 2000s lead to an increase of piracy on Lake Tanganyika. In 2001 and 2002 Mwongozo was attacked twice by pirates resulting in thousands of dollars of loss to passengers and substantial damage to the hull, requiring extensive repairs. Service between Kigoma and Bujumbura was suspended for a year after the second attack.
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