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Arrest Solai Dam owner – senators

Senators have called for the arrest the owner of Solai Dam that claimed 48 lives and rendered hundreds homeless after bursting.

The Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations also wants the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) disbanded for laxity in discharging its mandates.

The committee, chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, said Manskul Patel should be arrested for negligence.

Read : 40 still missing as Solai deaths hit 48

Patel is the owner of the dam located in Subukia, Nakuru county.

On Monday, the committee toured the scene of the disaster to establish the devastating effects of the calamity. They also sought answers on the cause of the tragedy ahead yesterday’s press conference at Parliament Buildings.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika called WRMA a “toothless dog.” Kihika, also a member of the committee, urged police to arrest Patel like they have done to owners of collapsed buildings.

“I can’t believe this is a natural disaster. It is a man-made. It’s baffling that a week later, the dam owner has not been arrested or made to recorded statement with police,” Kihika said.

“This person [Patel] is behaving as if he is above the law. Maybe he is.”

Haji asked the government to relocate the 150 families sheltered at Solai Boys High School, saying the camp was congested.

“There would be another serious disaster in case of a disease outbreak at the camp. That’s why the government must act without delay,” Haji said.

Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo) said Patel should not escape punishment for the disaster.

Haji said the committee will “soon” invite WRMA officials for grilling over the tragedy.

Also read : Solai residents panic amid fears of second dam burst at Patel farms in Nakuru

Kihika accused WRMA of sleeping on the job, saying Patel had denied residents their right to water by blocking and diverting two nearby rivers to his dam.

“The farm was heavily guarded and we did not know what was happening. We shall not allow rivers to be blocked by individuals for their own selfish interests,” Kihika said.

Other members present at the press conference were nominated senators Judy Pareno and Beatrice Kwamboka.

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