Kenya: Solai Dam Owner Presents Himself to Naivasha Police

Photo: Capital FM
The dam owner Perry Kasangara, the estate Managing Director Vinoj Jaya Kumar and a Nakuru County Government official in court.

Nairobi — Patel Dam owner Mansukh Kansagara and the General Manager Vinoj Jaya Kumar have presented themselves to the Naivasha Police Station, a day after the Director of Public Prosecutions ordered for their arrest and prosecution.

DPP Noordin Haji wants the two charged alongside other state officials, over the tragedy that left 47 people dead when the dam in Solai burst leaving a trail of destruction at a nearby village.

The two are represented by lawyer Evans Monari, who issued a statement Wednesday night saying they have been fully cooperating with authorities during investigations.

Also to face charges are top officials of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the Water Resources Management Authority (WRA) and Nakuru County Government.

The DPP said the officials will face various charges for their alleged omissions or commissions that led to the tragedy that also displaced hundreds of people from a village nearby.

"I have given consent to the DCI (George Kinoti) to immediately cause the arrest of all suspects," the DPP said in a statement. "My office is preparing to have the various suspects arraigned in court to answer the charges."

The charges include neglecting official duty and failing to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment report.

According to the DPP, detectives in their probe discovered that the dam's construction was done by unqualified staff using the farm equipment leading to construction and design flaws.

The dam's water was being supplied by the Watkins Stream, which was abstracted completely by the owner.

The water permit in respect to the dam, which expires on December 5, 2018 was irregularly issued.

There was failure by the owners, NEMA and WRA to ensure environmental compliance.

"Upon review of the file, I have established that there is criminal culpability on the part of WRA, NEMA and County Government officials entrusted with the mandate of inspection, monitoring and control of the safety of dams," the DPP asserted.

Other than the owner of the dam, others who will be arrested and arraigned in court include, Winnie Muthoni Mutisya (Water Rights Officer, WRA), Tomkin Odo Odhiambo (Sub-Regional Manager, WRA) and Jacinta Were (Assistant Technical Coordinator Manager Water rights WRA).

Others are Willie Omondi Were (NEMA, Nakuru County Director of Environment), Lynnete Jepchirchir Cheruiyot (NEMA, Environmental Officer, Nakuru County), Johnson Kamau Njuguna (County Director of Water, Nakuru County Government, and Julius Kavita (Sub-County administrator).

On Wednesday, Senators in the ad-hoc committee investigating the Solai Dam tragedy shrugged off attempts by unnamed individuals to intimidate them.

Led by the Committee Chairman Mutula Kilonzo Junior, they told a news conference that some unknown parties had in the past two weeks been trying to contact them with a view of compromising the outcome of their probe.

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