State officials found to have coerced victims of the Solai dam tragedy to accept money from the dam owners will be punished.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has promised to investigate claims that some officials convinced the victims to sign indemnity forms waiving their right to lodge claims after receiving payments from the dam owners.
The CS told a Senate committee investigating the deaths of 47 people following the collapse of the dam that he had ordered an independent investigation that should be complete in 30 days.
“I am not aware of any collusion between national government officials and the dam owner in compensating the victims,” said Dr Matiang'i.
“I will ask the regional security team for an investigation to be done; whoever is culpable will face the full force of the law.”
He promised to submit the probe report to the committee chaired by Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr.
Matiang’i told the senators that Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had already ordered investigations.
“As at now we are waiting for the investigations. If we get information that our officers were involved in any unethical conduct and behaviour, we shall take action according to the law,” he said.
Yesterday, the Senate committee proposed the suspension of the Nakuru County commissioner and key national government officials in Solai, arguing that their continued stay in office might interfere with the investigations.
Other officers recommended for suspension are the Subukia deputy county commissioner, Solai assistant county commissioner and the area chief.
Appearing before the committee last week, Perry Mansukh, the general manager of the estate, denied claims that the farm had already compensated affected families.
He explained that as part of the Solai community, the estate had offered a token to help the affected families back on their feet.
“I have not offered any compensation. What we offered was a token of goodwill to help the families meet their immediate needs. It was not a compensation,” said Mr Mansukh.
He told the committee that he donated Sh35 million to the independent committee comprising national government officials to give to the victims.
He said the estate had been part of the community for close to three generations and had helped to build schools and provide clean water in the area.