Patel Dam owners freed on bail - Daily Nation

Patel Dam owners freed on Sh2.5m bail

Monday July 9 2018

Solai dam tragedy

The suspects when they appeared in court on July 9, 2018. PHOTO | ODDP 

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Patel Coffee Estates Managing Director Perry Kansagara and the general manager Vinoj Kumar and four other co-accused have been freed on Sh5 million bond with a surety of similar amount or a cash bail of Sh2.5 million each.

The two owners of the Patel Dam that collapsed and killed 47 people in Nakuru County on May 9, were charged in a Naivasha court alongside four others, including Nakuru County Water Director Johnson Kamau, Water Rights Officer (WRA),Winnie Mutisya, sub regional manager (WRA), Tomkin Odhiambo and Assistant Technical Coordinator Manager (WRA), Jacinta Were.

The six had appeared before the court last Friday and were charged with 48 counts of manslaughter each and neglect of official  duties.

They faced the charges in connection with killing of 47 people in the tragedy that also left a trail of destruction.

Mr Kansagara faced two more counts of neglect for failing to present an Environmental Impact Assessment report of the killer dam and others in the expansive farm in Solai.

Ms Mutisya, Mr Odhiambo and Ms Were also faced an additional count of neglect of official duties.

Mr Kamau also faced one more count of neglect of official duty.

The Nakuru County government together with the Water Resources Authority and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema),were entrusted with the mandate of inspection, monitoring and control of the safety of dams.

They all denied all the charges.

The suspects had presented themselves to the Naivasha Police Station last week before they were charged in court.

They are among nine people DPP Noordin Haji directed that they be arrested and charged in connection with the tragedy that shook the nation.

The court lifted a warrant of arrest issued against the Nakuru county director of environment, Willice Omondi Were and Nakuru County National Environment Management Authority (Nema) officer, Lynnete Jepchichir Cheruiyot after their lawyers presented them in court.

Investigators say killer dam was constructed by unqualified staff.

The private dam, located inside a farm owned and managed by Mr Kansagara and Mr Kumar, burst its banks two months ago washing away a village.

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