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Solai dam owner seeks permission to travel to India

By Antony Gitonga | Published Fri, August 3rd 2018 at 15:03, Updated August 3rd 2018 at 15:18 GMT +3
Perry Manusukh Kanasagara during a past court session on July 5, 2018. He has made an application to be allowed to travel to India for a week. [File, Standard]

In summary

  • The senate committee on environment has released its report on the dam
  • Court to visit scene in September for a week
  • Outcry over cash paid to affected families
  • There has been a political fallout in Nakuru over the incident

Perry Manusukh Kanasagara who has been charged with 48 counts of manslaughter has moved to court seeking permission to travel to out of the country next week.

Manusukh who is among the nine suspects facing the charges wants the court to release his passport and allow him to travel on the 9th of this month to India.

According to court documents, the multi-millionaire is engaged in a court battle with his estranged wife over the custodial of their son.

This came as the pre-trial for the nine suspects in the Solai dam tragedy failed to kick off with the prosecution seeking more time to present the witnesses statements.

In the latest move, Manusukh through his lawyer Tom Ojienda told the court that he has a custodial case in India and wanted to travel between the 9th and 14th of August.

In his application, Ojienda told Naivasha Principal Magistrate Joseph Karanja that his client would abide by the law and would return the passport on the 15th of August.

The prosecution counsel Victor Owiti however called for more time to peruse the order and verify its authenticity adding that they were not opposed to the accused travelling out of the country.

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On the issue of pre-trial, Owiti told the court that they were not ready to proceed as they had not managed to collect all the statements from the state witnesses.

While apologizing to the court for the delay, Owiti said that the Witness Protection Agency had already identified the witnesses and engaged them.

During the session lawyer Francis Mburu told the court that all the suspects from Water Resources Authority (WRA) had been suspended.

He told the court that the workers had been directed to report once in a week to their bosses and applied to the court lift an earlier order directing the accused to report once in two weeks to the DCI office in Nakuru.

“Some of the workers live in Kisumu and Athi River and it’s expensive for them to travel to Nakuru where all they do is just sign a register and return back home,” he said.

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

They have been jointly charged with the 48 counts of manslaughter, failing to prepare an environmental impact assessment report and neglect of duty.

The magistrate said that he will make a ruling on the passport application on the 7th of August while the pre-trial date was set on the 10th of September.

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