Politician Demands Ksh50,000 to Show Picture of Patel Dam Owner

  • A Member of the County Assembly is alleged to have demanded Ksh50,000 to show the Standard Newspaper journalists a photo of Patel dam owner Mansukulal Patel, or Perry Kasangra.

    This is after efforts by media to put a face to the man whose dam caused a national disaster have been fruitless almost a week since the incident occurred.

    Local leaders who have interacted with the dam owner are reported to have been cagey with information about the tycoon, whom they described as "a nice, quiet man".

    “This is important information that you people need. You must pay for it and the pictures I have,” the unnamed MCA is reported to have told one of the Standard Media Group's reporters at the Patel farm.

    [caption caption="Solai dam"][/caption]

    Alex Kiprotich a journalist with the Standard, however, declined to give money in exchange for the picture and information.

    Very little was known of agribusiness and salt mogul Perry Mansukhlal Kansagra, before the Solai dam catastrophe who is the CEO of Solai Group of Companies which comprise the Patel Coffee Estate, where the killer dam was located.

    Patel and his extended family are reported to grow flowers for export under the brand name Solai Roses continuing a long tradition of his great-grandfather, Shantilal Nathabhai Patel.

    Kansagra’s grandfather was one of the Asians who took advantage of the leaving white settlers to expand his business in the Rift Valley.

    Today, the small confectionary venture that he started has grown into a multi-billion business with coffee, flowers and macadamia, a dairy farm, an iodised salt factory and ceramics trade.

    [caption caption="Houses left after the Solai dam burst its banks"][/caption]

    Solai Group operates in about 14 countries including the UK and India.