Kenya: KHRC Demands Status Update From DCI, DPP on Nandi Goldmine Blast That Killed 3

Nairobi — The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has asked for a status update on an investigation into a deadly blast at a mine in Nandi that claimed three lives on January 23.

The rights commission made the request on Thursday in a letter addressed to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

The collapse of mining shafts in Nandi's Tinderet Sub-County resulted in six injuries.

KHRC said that the victims, who were employees of Karebe Gold Mining, were working in the underground tunnel at the time of the explosion.

The Commission is seeking information on the status of the DCI file, including whether investigations were carried out and whether charges of murder were recommended against the suspects.

It was also requesting information on the current position of the file that was forwarded to the ODPP for further action in court, and why there has been a delay in bringing charges.

3-day ultimatum

Brian Olang, KHRC's Associate Human Rights Monitoring and Rapid Response Programme, urged the offices to respond within three days, failing which the Commission will explore other legal options to compel action.

"Therefore, we write on behalf of the victims whose family members died due to the deadly blast with great concern seeking answers to pertinent questions," he said.

Police made ten arrests in connection with the blast on February 7 and held them at Songhor Police Station for questioning.

Alfred Magut, Simon Cheruiyot, Henry Kiptoo Ruto, Wilson Arap Tirgoi, Philemon Kipchumba Too, Shadrack Kipkoech Melilei, Daniel Kiplagat, Kennedy Kipkoech Kurgat, Zakayo Kimeli Korir and Hillary Kipchirchir had reportedly fled their home and were smoked out from a hideout following a tip off from the public.

The ten were arrested a day after they were charged in absentia during a virtual court sitting presided by Chief Magistrate sitting in Kapsabet.

The court subsequently allowed the detention of suspects for 14 days to allow further investigations and later, on February 24, freed them on a Sh100,000 cash bail each with an alternative of Sh200,000 bond.

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