, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has ordered an investigation into the compensation for Solai dam tragedy victims following reports that government officials were involved in the payouts from the owner.
Matiangi was taken to task to explain why the government was not aware of the payouts yet the dam owner Perry Mansukh has publicly stated that he released Sh35 million to be paid as indemnity through the County Commissioner.
Appearing before the ad-hoc Senate Committee, Matiangi pledged to submit a report on the probe in the next 30 days, a period that the committee stated was too long.
The Interior CS said the team to be formed under the Rift Valley Regional Security chief will be mandated to carry out the investigations.
This came as he told the committee investigating the tragedy that neither he nor any government agencies were aware that some National Government officials were forcing victims of the tragedy to sign indemnity forms.
“We are not aware of any payouts done but I’m requesting that this committee give us time so that we can conduct an investigation into the matter before tabling the report before you,” said the Interior CS.
“There are ways such information would have gotten to me, but not even the National Intelligence Service has brought this to our attention. I am not aware of any collusion between National Government officials and the dam owner.
Committee chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni), members Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and Ladema ole Kina (Narok) were dismayed by the statement by the holder of the docket that is charged with the security of Kenyans.
They noted that this was not the first time the allegation was being raised since the investigation began.
Sakaja and ole Kina demanded that the adversely mentioned officials must step aside as they expressed fears that they may interfere with investigations.
The Senators demanded stern action from the Director of Public Prosecutions if it found that the government officials are guilty of giving victims money to sabotage investigations.
Turkana Senator Malachy Ekal called on the government to take responsibility and facilitate the compensation.
Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo and Nominated Senator Sylvia Kasanga accused local administrators of creating fake lists of victims of the May 9 tragedy, with Kilonzo saying local administrators provided several lists, some with bogus names.
This is after a section of the victims claimed favouritism by some of the National Government officials that
saw some of them left out.
The Senate team learned that there were three unverified lists of victims generated separately by the Kenya Red Cross and another one by the victims committee set up by the Solai dam owners.