Tanzania fishermen stuck at Mombasa Port

A group of Tanzanian fishermen stranded at the Mombasa port for the last three weeks are calling on authorities to expedite their travel back home.

Speaking to The Standard at a centre where they are being hosted temporarily after their fishing vessel was detained, the seafarers said they fear the owners of their vessel, FV Faraja might fail to secure their passage home.

"We have been well received and are now under the daily care of the Mission to Seafarers chaplain Moses Muli and Betty Makena of the International Transport Workers Federation. Ms Makena ensures that we get daily hot meals. But for how long shall this be the case? We need to be paid our dues and sent home," said Shaban Mohamed, the vessel's chef.

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Makena said they have been in touch with one of the vessel's co-owners who promised to fly to Mombasa next week for negotiations over the safe return of the seafarers to Tanzania.

The crew of the vessel, which is docked at the Liwatoni Fisheries Complex, claimed they had not been paid their salaries for the past five months.

Blue Aqua Marine, which is listed as the vessel's owner, is said to owe the crew $47,000 (Sh4.8 million).

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"We acted fast to help minimise the crew's suffering. They are eating three hot meals a day and are free to use the amenities at this centre as efforts are made to repatriate them to their respective countries," Rev Muli said.

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Mombasa portThe Standard