Lake Malawi boat tragedy survivor recalls bag of flour that saved his life

A 67-year-old Graciam Kondowe who was among 54 passengers who police say survived after the Kayokha boat overturned in stormy weather on  Lake Malawi in Rumphi, Sunday has said he escaped death by clinging to a bag of maize flour.

One of the survivors with Rumphi police station officer James Mpezeni (left)

Kondowe said he was in the boat which was hired for K45,000 from owner  69-year-old Harrison  Ngwira of  Kabenu village, Traditional Authority  Mbwana in Nkhatabay  by members of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), back from Easter celebrations, heading to Tchalo in Rumphi.

He recalled  that heavy winds buffeted the boat about 15 minutes into their journey but they proceeded with the journey.

“But the wind was getting more strong and water getting into the boat,” Kondowe sad.

Kondowe said the operator attempted to sail offshore after sensing danger but the boat capsized before they could get back.

“There was panick and wailing. I saw a breastfeeding baby and her mother dying hopelessly,” he said.

Kondowe said he held on to a bag of maize flour which fell out of the boat, and eventually swam his way to safety.

The Kayokha boat was designed to  carry between 30 to 40 passengers but on the fateful day it overloaded with 79 passengers.

Six people  are confirmed dead  while 20 are still missing, police said.

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Festus
Festus
5 years ago

May their souls rest in peace, am deepily touched.

Tembo D.J
Tembo D.J
5 years ago

RIP to those who lost their lives.

Kaulanda
Kaulanda
5 years ago

The recent incidence that resulted in deaths of boat passengers,has shocked the entire nation.I would like to thank the Minister of Finance Mr.G.Gondwe,Rev. Nyondo and other leaders from neighbouring areas for their presence at the place of the occurrence of which,the State President failed to showup at this place where a good number of citizens lost their lives in the lake.Also the most disturbing scenario is the absence of the MP who represents the area Mr.Kamlepo Karua.Besides that,he was born there,grewup there and attended school there,but did not go any further than form two.He went to South Africa to look… Read more »

Chipapwiche Kajhalwiche
Chipapwiche Kajhalwiche
5 years ago

Boat owner Harrison Ngwira of Kabenu Village, Traditional Authority Mbwana in Nkhatabay must go to jail immediately and held accountable for the innocent lives that were lost. May their souls rest in piece.

Nyerere ndiye ineyo
Nyerere ndiye ineyo
5 years ago

Praise your living God and not a bag of flour.

George Kungwalu
George Kungwalu
5 years ago

ACTION MUST BE TAKEN TO THE OWNER OF THE BOAT

yandula
yandula
5 years ago

Very sad development indeed; the authorities are failing Malawians; why allow unregistered vessel carry people on our waters? It’s like taking unlicensed vehicle on the nation’s roads carrying MATOLA!

samson seleman
samson seleman
5 years ago

But not control themselve in terms of the number of people loaded in such a small boat?

Mfulu
5 years ago

Mulungu alandire mizimu ya anthu amene atisiyawa.

Anzijo
Anzijo
5 years ago
Reply to  Mfulu

Amen

grevazio sinoya
grevazio sinoya
5 years ago

very sad

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