High Court dismisses petition by Solai Dam suspects

Written By: KBC Reporter

The DPP wants the suspects who include the dam owners and officials from Nakuru county government, NEMA and WARMA charged with manslaughter among other charges

The High Court sitting in Naivasha has dismissed an application by four suspects seeking to stop their prosecution in the Solai Dam case which is set to begin in a week’s time. 

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The suspects had sought a judicial review in a case where they are facing 48 counts of manslaughter.

The four challenged the decision by the Director of Public Prosecution to charge them, saying they were not directly

In dismissing the petition, the judge noted that due to public interest and the grave consequences that that the collapse of the dam brought, the prosecution of the suspects should not be stopped.

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However the petitioners accused the DPP of preferring criminal charges against them, terming this as a violation of the right to fair administrative action as there was no basis in the charges.

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In the first petition, Johnson Kamau who is the director of water in Nakuru County and Luka Kipyegen Rongai sub-county administrator had accused the DPP of unfairly targeting them.

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But in his ruling, Justice Richard Mwongo said the two knew of the existence of the dam before it burst its banks.

The second petition was filed by Willie Omondi and Lynette Cheruiyot both employees of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

The duo through their lawyers, had argued that there was infringement and violations of their rights and that the law protected them from any personal liability when carrying out their duties.

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But in his ruling, the judge noted that following the tragedy, the role of NEMA and the accused persons came into sharp focus.

He argued that the two in their petition have admitted that they were deployed to carry out the mandate of NEMA where the dam was located but they had failed to do so. Patel Dam collapsed on May 9th, killing 47 people.

 

 

 

 

 

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