Court acquits suspects in Solai dam tragedy, blames ODPP

Written By: Hunja Macharia

A Court in Naivasha has acquitted nine Solai dam tragedy suspects charged with manslaughter citing failure by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute the case.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Perry Manusukh Kanasagara the owner of the farm and the others were charged with 48 counts of manslaughter on 9th of May 2018 in Solai Nakuru and failing to prepare an environmental impact assessment report.

Manusukh and the other eight Vinoj Jaya Kumar, Johnson Njuguna, Luka Kipyegen, Winnie Muthoni, Jacinta Were, Tomkin Odo Odhiambo, Williec Omondi and Lynette Cheruiyot are now free after Naivasha Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali dismissed the case.

Also Read  Clinical Officers issue 14-day strike notice over healthcare workers welfare

In his ruling, Bidali accused the prosecution of holding the court hostage by failing to appear in court on several occasions.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

He said little progress had been made noting that the nine accused deserved a fair trial which could not be given due to various adjournments by the prosecution.

“The court has on various occasions set aside twelve days for the case to be heard only for the prosecution to miss out without giving a proper explanation,” he said.

Also Read  968 test positive for COVID-19 as 14 succumb in second wave

While acquitting the suspects, the magistrate noted that 18 months since the case kicked off, the office of the DPP had failed to produce a single witness or witness statement.

“No Court should be held ransom by the office of the DPP and the accused have the right to fair and speedy trail but the prosecution has time and again proved it was not ready to handle this case,” he said.

Also Read  DCI on alert amid online flooding of lewd images of minors

Bidali noted that the ODPP had last year indicated that it was seeking a plea bargain with the owner of the farm but no report had been made to the court in relation to this.

State counsel Catherine Mwaniki however said that they will appeal the ruling.

“There was a petition by the victims of the tragedy to be enjoined in the case and we were waiting for that before kicking of this case,” she said.



Tell Us What You Think