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‘I am the victim’ says collapsed dam owner

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Kenyan dam owner which collapsed killing 47, claims he's the victim.

The owner of Kenya’s ill-fated Solai dam, which collapsed on May 9 killing 47 people and injuring hundreds of others, has attempted to absolve himself from blame over the tragedy and, instead, portrayed himself as a victim, the Daily Nation reported on Thursday.

Perry Mansukh, general manager of Patel Coffee Estates, said the deaths had drained him emotionally and “saddened him tremendously.”

“We are the victims and not the perpetrators of the dam collapse. The deaths hit us extremely hard as the affected community is dear to me,” he said when he appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the accident.

Mansukh, who faces manslaughter charges, said the collapse was caused by massive deforestation on the farms of other people and by farming on the hills overlooking the dam.

His claim angered committee members who asked him to demonstrate how he cared for the people and to explain what he had done to help the community recover from the tragedy.

Mansukh has also been accused of having no respect for the law and challenged to provide proof that commercial activities he carries out on his farm were duly approved through the necessary licensing regime.


– African News Agency (ANA)