400 victims of Solai dam tragedy write to Patel demanding compensation

Uncompensated 400 victims of the killer Solai dam tragedy have written to Tindress Patel Coffee Estates Ltd demanding the proprietor to admit civil liability and allow negotiations towards full compensation and settlement of the matter out of court.

Through Gordon Ogolla and Kipkoech Advocates, the victims want the matter settled once and for all that will see individual payouts estimated at Kshs.500 million and infrastructural restoration Kshs.500 million making it a total of Kshs. 1 billion.

Addressing media in Nakuru, Lawyer Bernhard Kipkoech Ng’etich said their major basis is on the Solai Senate report recommendation on compensation of the victims.

Some of the victims lost their property, land, and houses destroyed besides sustaining injuries.According to the lawyer, the 400 victims now want compensation through dialogue as opposed to moving to court.

They have however given the Tindress Patel Coffee Estates Ltd owner 7 days ultimatum to respond to their demands failure to which they will move to court” said Lawyer Ng’etich.

“Having listened to the victims, they would want to have a talk and have them compensated through dialogue. We expect the management of the firm to respond within 7 days” said Ng’etich.

The lawyer calling on Government and the Patel firm owners to ensure the matter is solved soonest and the 400 victims compensated.

He says a visit to Solai 3 months down the line after the tragedy shows that life of the locals was ruined by the tragedy hence need for compensation to pick up the pieces.

“My request to the government is to ensure that the compensation issue is addressed so that the victims can be settled once and for all” said Ng’etich.

Sentiments echoed by Kabazi Ward MCA Dr.Peter Mbae who admitted that indeed a lot of reports had been made about the Solai Dam tragedy.

While agreeing with the recent Senate report on the same, Dr.Mbae said a time had come that the matter should be addressed once and for all to allow the victims of the killer dam compensated in order to go back to their normal lives.

“There have been so many reports on the Solai Dam tragedy and I think time is now that we have to solve this matter once and for all to allow the victims to go back to their normal lives” said Dr.Mbae.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Kabazi Ward MCA Dr.Peter Mbae(centre) and Lawyer Bernhard Kipkoech Ng’etich during addressing media in Nakuru on August 22 2018.

Nakuru County commissioner faces suspension over solai dam case

Nakuru County commissioner Joshua Nkanatha is on the receiving end after the Senate ad hoc committee probing the Solai Dam tragedy that claimed 47 lives urged CS Fred Matiang’i to suspend Nakuru County Commissioner for ‘complicity.’

According to the committee’s Chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jnr it is questionable why the commissioner and other administrations officers are spearheading the compensation of the victims on behalf of the dam owner.

Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior says this is wrong as the administrators are still the same people who are probing the matter.

The Senator said the action cast doubts over the sincerity of the government’s case against the Solai dam owner.

The Senate committee also rubbished the owner’s offer a Ksh.100,000 indemnity to victims.


PHOTO/Standard: Patel Farm General Manager Vinoj Jayakumar (right) with Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha during a meeting with Solai Dam victims on June 28, 2018.

NEW REVELATIONS: Solai dam victims were forced to sign compensation forms

A section of affected families of the Solai dam tragedy have revealed that they were forced to sign the discharge and indemnity voucher forms without going through to know the particulars.

Addressing media in Solai on Thursday, the affected families claimed there were cartels out to benefit from the compensation form the Patel Dam owner.

They say they were forced to sign the forms on the watch of Patel Farm owner’s lawyer and administrators.

They said it was not logic for those whose houses were destroyed to be compensated with 1 million shillings each yet those who lost their loved ones are being given sh.100, 000.

Isaac Muna Mwaniki who los t his wife says the compensation was reached at without consultations from the affected families.

“The compensation is not okay with us as there were no consultations and we are sensing some kind of unfairness on the same. We were forced to sign the compensation forms and we feel there are some people who want to benefit on the same yet they were not affected by the tragedy” said Mr.Muna.

Similar sentiments echoed by Josiah Kamau who said besides being forced to fill the compensation forms, it emerged that the forms had numerous errors and they were rejected by the bank.

He said he did not expect to receive sh.100, 000 for losing his children in the tragedy yet some other victims whose houses and businesses were lost were getting 1 million each.

“I did not expect to be given sh.100, 000 for losing my family members yet those whose houses were destroyed are being given 1 million each” said Kamau.

Stephen Mwangi Kariuki-a farmer in Solai says his life has never been same again since the tragedy.He is calling on the government to ensure talks with the families affected by the tragedy so that they can reach a solution and their lives back to normalcy.

“We feel there is foul play in the compensation issue and we want the government to have talks with us (the real victims) as far as compensation is concerned.

This even as Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika in whose county the tragedy occurred vowed to ensure justice is delivered to affected families.


PHOTO/Nation: Patel Coffee Estates Limited MD Perry Mansukh Kansagara (right) and Estate General Manager Vinoj jayakumar inside a Naivasha courtroom on July 5, 2018.

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