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High Court bars Solai dam boss from travelling out of Kenya

The proprietor of the Solai Group of Companies, Mr Patel Mansukhlal Kansagra, has been restrained from travelling out of the country pending the determination of the compensation case filed against him by relatives of the victims of the dam tragedy in Naivasha which left 47 people dead.

High Court Judge Antony Ombwayo barred Mr Kansagra from travelling, although he had been allowed to fly out by another court, pending the determination of a fresh case filed under a certificate of urgency by lawyer Ronald Onyango who is representing the dam tragedy victims.

Mr Onyango told the judge that the victims of the May 9, 2018 dam tragedy are apprehensive that Mr Kansagra may leave the country before their case has been determined.

SURRENDERED PASSPORT

But Mr Kansagra, who had flown out of the country, has since returned to Kenya and taken back his passport to the court which is trying him for the offence of manslaughter alongside others.

Mr Onyango told judge that the application to restrain Mr Kansagra not to travel is being made in “good faith and in the interest of justice to avert impending injustice and prejudice that may be meted on the petitioners in the compensation case”.

The court has been urged to compel Mr Kansagra and Solai Group of Companies to deposit in court Sh5 billion as security towards the settlement of claims by the victims and costs upon judgement.

MAN OF MEANS

Justice and Environment Foundation (JEB) and six other petitioners who are victims of the dam tragedy that affected about 5,000 people who filed the case through Mr Onyango state that “Mr Kansagra is a man of means with assets in various countries in Europe and India and therefore not bound to his Kenyan residence or to Kenya by anything thus making him a high-level flight risk”.

In the compensation case, JEB has named Mr Kamara, Solai Group of Companies, Kensalt Limited, Patel Coffee Estate Limited, Vinoj Jaya Kumar, Water Resources Management Authority, National Environment Management Authority, National Construction Authority and the Attorney-General as respondents.

Justice Ombwayo has fixed hearing of the travel ban case on August 28, 2018.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

In the compensation case, the claimants say their constitutional and fundamental rights were infringed on by various State departments which failed to ensure their safety in the manner in which the dam was constructed.

The killer dam victims and their dependants are asking the court to direct they be provided with shelter, medical facilities and equipment, food and other basic amenities.

The victims are asking the court to compel the proprietors of the ill-fated dam to provide temporary structures to cater for the learning of the hundreds of children whose schools were destroyed when the walls of the dam collapsed.

“The petitioners children’s education has been interrupted as their schools were ravaged by floods arising out of the collapse of the (Solai) Milmet Dam owned, controlled and managed by the Solai Group of Companies,” Mr Onyango states.

In the evidence filed by JEF’s chairperson, Mr Godfrey Onyango, the court has been asked to expeditiously dispose of the case and grant the reliefs sought so that the victims may resume their normal lifestyles.

Daily Nation

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