ODPP Moves to Withdraw Case Against Solai Dam Billionaire

Solai Dam tragedy vicitms being buried
Solai Dam tragedy vicitms being buried
Kenya Insights

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has applied to withdraw the case against the Solai Dam Tragedy billionaire after the latter reached an out-of-court agreement with the victims' families.

Appearing in court, the ODPP revealed that the compensation amount agreed between the accused and the victims' families has already been deposited in an escrow account, and the only thing stopping the families from accessing the amount is the withdrawal of the case.

“We urge the court to grant the withdrawal of the case and we shall ensure that the process is completed as agreed between the parties,” the prosecution submitted.

“In our grounds in support of this application, the victims confirmed that they were satisfied with the agreement reached with counsel, regarding the amounts that each one of them shall receive,” ODPP further posed.

The destruction left behind on May 8, 2018 after Solai Dam broke its banks.
The destruction left behind on May 8, 2018, after Solai Dam broke its banks.
New African Magazine

The ODPP further argued that the victims' families and the billionaire already had an existing cordial relationship before the tragedy which he described as a reason for the matter to reach an amicable solution.

“Your honour I invite you to note that the victims, as well as the first accused, have had a relationship of an employer-employee relationship and they would wish to continue with their cordial relationship after this matter is settled, kindly grant us relief to have this matter withdrawn.”

This comes after the billionaire on Tuesday, November 7 agreed to compensate the victims' families after years of court battles.

In the agreement presided over by the  Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) the billionaire agreed to an out-of-court settlement that would see the tycoon compensate Ksh1.2 million to the families of adult victims and Ksh800,000 for minors.

In the case which has dragged in court for over five years, the dam owner was charged with several crimes, including failing to prepare an environmental impact assessment report before constructing the dam.

The tycoon was also charged with manslaughter.

The tragedy occurred in 2018 when the dam broke its banks. This resulted in tonnes of water running through the fields of a 3,000-acre commercial coffee farm and into the homes downstream. 

Unfortunately, 47 people lost their lives in the tragedy while a whole village was swept.

Thousands of families were also displaced which led to calls for the dam owner to be prosecuted.

Photo of Plush Houses Built for Solai Dam Victims by the Kenya Red Cross
Photo of new houses built for Solai Dam victims by the Kenya Red Cross
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