Kenya: State counsel alleges intimidation of witnesses in Solai Dam burst case; dam collapse killed 48 people

Author: George Murage, The Star (Kenya), Published on: 17 September 2018

"DPP accuses Solai Dam suspects of intimidating witnesses"

The DPP has accused Patel farm owners and some government officers of threatening key witnesses in a case where nine suspects are charged with 48 counts of manslaughter. This emerged in an application where the DPP is seeking that the case be transferred from Naivasha to Nairobi due to the alleged interferences. The State has also expressed its concern on the safety of the prosecution team. The application was filed before High court Judge Richard Mwongo in Naivasha on Monday. The application, however, was not heard after it emerged that some parties involved in the case where 48 lives were lost had not been served.

State counsel Catherine Mwaniki, in an affidavit, accuses the management of Patel coffee estate (farm) and WARMA officers of tampering with the scene. She further alleges that some of the key witnesses had been transferred and others threatened, with the assistance of the local administration. Mwaniki said the situation has made it hard for the Witness Prosecution Agency to access them. "The prosecution team's security, in view of the circumstances, is at high risk. In the interest of justice, we pray that this case be transferred to Nairobi," reads the affidavit in part.

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