Senate committee grills ill-fated Solai dam owner

Mercy Mwai and   Dinah Ondari

Owner of the ill-fated Solai dam yesterday failed to convince select committee investigating its collapse that he was not to blame for the tragedy.

Patel Coffee Estates  general manager Perry Mansukh  (pictured) was put on the spot by the committee chaired by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr for operating the firm in blatant disregard to the law.

The committee also sought answers on the circumstance surrounding claims that he paid the victims of the tragedy to shield himself from prosecution. 

However, Mansukh put up a spirited defence alleging  collapse of the dam was caused by a natural occurrences even as he claimed he is also a victim of the calamity.

Senator Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) accused the businessman of having no respect for the laws of the land and challenged him to provide proof that commercial activities he carries on his farm were duly approved through the necessary licensing regime. Sakaja further asked Mansukh to confirm whether he had compensated the victims of the tragedy and if he had asked them to sign indemnity forms that protected him from criminal liability.

Manskuh,  who was accompanied by his lawyer Evans Monari, denied claims that he had compensated the affected families saying he had offered a token of goodwill as a gesture to help families rebuild their lives.

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