By Ndungu Gachane
Even as the United Kingdom courts prepares to hear and determine a law suit filed by Kakuzi Limited Company, former employees and neighbours, a set of victims have come out to allege horror experiences meted on them by the merciless guards from the company.
The fresh revelations from victims can only be equated with movie scripts as they depict torture, rape, evictions and deaths thanks to the company which they now refer as corporate perpetrators.
On Thursday, over 300 victims converged at the interior Kinyangi village to counter the company’s claims that they have never heard of the claims and its defense amid criticism and suspension by a leading supermarket from UK.
Sobbing, expressing immense emotions and bitterness, the victims one by one recounted how they were either dismissed from the company after agitating for their rights, how they were either raped or their children defiled by the company guards and others told tales on how they were mercilessly beaten and their hands almost cut off and taken to police stations and maliciously charged with trespass.
Kennedy Musyoki recounted how his hand was almost chopped off by the guards after they found him cutting grass for his only cow at the road neighboring Kakuzi Company.
“They lured me to jump over their fence and get the best grass from their land but I refused owing to the history of the company, little did I know that they intended to finish me, they jumped over to my side and started attacking me as locals watched, they screamed and as they left one of them lifted a panga to cut my throat but I used my left hand to protect my neck, my hand almost fell off,” he said as he cried bitterly.
He was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where to date he is yet to recover forcing him to depend on well-wishers to get food as he used to be a guitarist with Ithanga Boys Band.
Another victim could not hide her tears as she narrated how her 14-year old daughter was defiled, impregnated and contracted with Hiv and Aids by the guards as she went to fetch firewood in the forest near the Company.
They narrated how a 28-year old man was allegedly killed by guards after stealing avocados from the company as the former employees reminisced the irregular and illegal firing after they had accidents at work.
“I was involved in an accident in 2007 at work and they fired me and ordered a private hospital in Thika not to offer me my medical report, since then I have never recovered,” a former employee said.
Human Right activist Swaleh Githinji said there have been systematic evictions, gross violation of human rights and trashed Kakuzi’s claims that they are not aware of the allegations.
On his part, Kandara residents Associations chairperson PMG Njuguna Wa Ruth claimed there has been collusion between the Judiciary and high ranking government operatives to block locals from accessing justice thanking the British law courts for taking over the matter.
“Kakuzi dogs and cows live better than the neighboring locals, there can never be worse colonialists than Kakuzi and Delmonte, it’s a pity that people have to go to Europe to seek justice when there is a democratically elected government here at home,” he added.
However on Tuesday, Kakuzi Head of Corporate Affairs Officer Wilson Odiyo urged all the complainants to walk to their offices any day and file their complaints saying the company does not condone any form of abuse of human rights.
“Being a company with other 3000 employees certain things must go wrong but when we know about them we usually deal with them in accordance with our internal mechanism while we engage the police with cases which are of criminal nature,” Mr Odiyo said.