Kenya: Patel Dam Owners Turn Themselves in

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

Two managers of Patel Estates, owners of the dam that burst and killed 47 people in Nakuru in May, are set to be charged in Naivasha.

The estate’s Managing Director Perry Mansukh Kansagara and General Manager Vinoj Jaya Kumar on Thursday presented themselves to the Naivasha Police Station.

MANSLAUGHTER

For more than two hours, they were questioned by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, who took their statements and prepared a charge sheet.

They are set to be arraigned at the Naivasha Law Courts and their case will be heard by the resident magistrate.

Their court date comes barely a day after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered their arrest and prosecution.

According to Naivasha Officer Commanding Police Division Samuel Waweru, the two will arraigned on Thursday afternoon.

“The two presented themselves to the DCI offices on Thursday morning. They will shortly be charged  in court,” he said.

The two are facing charges of manslaughter, neglect of official duty and failing to prepare an environmental impact assessment report.

They are among nine people Mr Haji wanted arrested over the tragedy that shook the nation.

NEMA

Others are Water Resources Authority sub-regional manager Tomkin Odhiambo, assistant technical coordination manager Jacinta Were, Nema's Nakuru county director Williec Omondi, Nema's Nakuru environment officer Lynnet Jepchirchir, county water director Johnson Njuguna, sub-county administrator Julius Kavita and water rights officer Winnie Muthoni.

According to Mr Haji, the owners of the killer dam, Nema and Warma officials failed to ensure environmental compliance.

Investigations indicated that the construction of the killer dam was done by unqualified staff, which may have led to the disaster.

Nema, Warma and county government officials have been found culpable as they were entrusted with the mandate of inspection, monitoring and control of the safety of dams.

The dam, located inside a farm owned and managed by Mr Kansagara and Mr Kumar, burst its banks two months ago, killing 47 and displacing hundreds of families.

Besides the deaths, the tragedy left over 5,000 people displaced after its water flattened the sleepy Energy village in Solai.

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