Mtongwe Ferry disaster survivors face hurdle over compensation
By Patrick Beja | May 5th 2016
Survivors of the Mtongwe ferry disaster may never be compensated because crucial legal documents are lost, a State agency says.
Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) says a private doctor who examined most survivors disappeared from Kenya with the documents, a situation that has stalled plans to compensate those injured during the disaster on April 29, 1994.
KFS said yesterday that only three survivors who were examined by a separate doctor were compensated because their medical reports were forwarded to the State.
Acting KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa said in Mombasa yesterday the compensation for those injured had been met with legal challenges.
“Out of the 190 cases of injury, 171 were filed but most of them have stalled because of lack of medical reports on victims,” Gowa explained, describing this as a challenge to both KFS and those injured.
No medical documents
KFS Secretary and Head of Legal Services Elijah Kitur said only three cases of injuries were concluded and a total of Sh800,000 paid out in 2015.
He said external lawyers for KFS were handling the matter but added that they were encountering difficulties because of the lack of medical reports.
“We have only concluded three cases and paid a total of Sh800,000 because most victims have problems with medical documents,” Mr Kitur explained.
KFS has so far compensated 253 families out of the total 271 people who died in the Mtongwe ferry accident, adding that 18 cases are yet to be finalised owing to lack of necessary documents.
According to Mr Kitur, Sh78 million has been paid out to compensate the families of the dead.
Shipping analyst Andrew Mwangura appealed to the Government to intervene and ensure compensation for the remaining cases.
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