ODPP Moves to Withdraw Solai Dam Case That Killed 48 People

The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has sought to withdraw the criminal case against Solai Dam officials six years after Solai Dam burst killing 48 people and leaving unimaginable destruction.

The ODPP under a Certificate of Urgency, said that the victims and those accused had reached an out-of-court settlement where families who lost adults will get Ksh.1.2m from the owner and Ksh.800,000 each for those who lost children.

This emerged during the ongoing trial where Solai Farm Perry Manusukh and eight others were charged with 48 counts of manslaughter on May 18, 2018, and failing to prepare an environmental impact assessment report.

The other eight are Vinoj Jaya Kumar, Johnson Njuguna, Luka Kipyegen, Winnie Muthoni, Jacinta Were, Tomkin Odo Odhiambo, Williec Omondi, and Lynette Cheruiyot.

Through State Counsel Alex Muteti, the ODPP sought to have the criminal case withdrawn though the court had already put the nine accused on their defense.

Muteti told Naivasha Chief Magistrate Nathan Lutta that the victims and the accused through their advocates had held several meetings where the issue of compensation had been arrived at.

While calling on the court to consider the application, he noted that the case had taken over six years, emotionally and financially draining all the parties involved.

“The victims in a letter to the ODPP requested that the matter be resolved out of court and after reviewing the case, we support alternative dispute resolution mechanisms,” he said.