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More than 200 people died in September when a Tanzania ferry sank in Lake Victoria, which is the world's second biggest lake and the largest in Africa.

The boat overturned and sank about 7 pm Saturday, said a senior police officer, Zurah Ganyana.

Minister Bagire says that the boat was not registered, not inspected, and was in a mission to confiscate errant boats inclusive the one that capsized.

They said that dozens of people were rescued at the scene near the capital Kampala, while dozens more were believed trapped in the fully submerged vessel.

Kikongo said first responders were among the victims.

"If people had help earlier so many more people would have survived", Matovo said.

A stampede ensued when the rescue boats arrived, and at least one man in the rescue party was drowned by the people he had come to help. Marine police tried to prevent the boat from embarking on the cruise, but they were overwhelmed by the presence of two local princes among the passengers, they said.

Matovo said some of the rescuers also drowned as a result.

Loud music was being played on board the boat, which was hosting a party at the time of the accident, he said. "The boat was overloaded and secondly there was bad weather", he told Reuters news agency.

At 3pm they started boarding the boat and left KK Beach at 4 pm and all were asked to put on a life jacket and the boat started moving slowly until it developed problems and were asked to go one side of the boat so that it can balance but unfortunately it was taking in water and capsized.

"We suspect the mechanical condition of the boat and the weather contributed to the sinking".

"Uganda police marine unit rescues over 40 people alive on Lake Victoria".

She narrated that they tried to cling on the boat as they screamed but majority were already drunk and had taken off their life jackets.

The East African nation has several kingdoms, whose kings wield considerable social clout but little political influence.

"Such boats can not carry more than 50 people", said local councillor Johnson Muyanja.

"Many more people are missing".