Two teenagers are nursing grave injuries at Thika Level Five Hospital after the motorcycle they were riding on was allegedly run over by a Del Monte Kenya Limited security vehicle.
The duo claim that they were headed home to Kihiu Mwiri village in Gatanga, Murang’a County from the multinational fruit juice processing farm on Saturday morning, after fetching fodder for their cattle, when people believed to be security guards from the company accosted them.
Brian Ingusu and his cousin David Lucheri, both 17, claim that the people gave them a chase suspecting them of being on a mission to steal fruits from the pineapple farm and knocked them down.
When reached for a comment Del Monte Kenya Limited’s head of communication Jackline Muthoni said that the company is investigating on the incident and will issue a comprehensive statement later.
Ingusu suffered a broken right limb, ribs and deep cuts on his face while Lucheri has broken ribs and bruises all over his face, hands and legs.
“They chased us and knocked us from behind. I fell unconscious and woke up at hospital. We have however not been attended to hours later. We are in pain,” Ingusu said while wreathing in pain.
His mother, Jacqueline Were, told journalists that she received the sad news while at her home.
She rushed to Ngati police station which is within the Del Monte farm where the motorbike was taken and the police notified her that her son and cousin had been rushed to hospital.
“They dumped my children at the hospital and left them unattended. They have bruises all over and are in excruciating pain,” Were said.
She asserted that brutality by guards believed to be from Del Monte has escalated with cases of youths from the village being clobbered and maimed by the guards being on the rise.
“Several are nursing injuries like broken limbs, and deep cuts among others, injuries afflicted by these notorious guards. We are worried that the worst might happen to our children in the hands of these guards. Our children usually pass through the farm while going to and from work,” Were said.
She said that the fruit juice firm should take responsibility for the incident and bear the costs of facilitating the victims’ treatment and medication.
The agitated mother also pointed an accusing finger at the management of Thika Level Five Hospital saying that they failed to attend to the injured teenagers for hours after they were taken to the facility.
“We fail to understand why they have not been attended to for close to seven hours. The children are in pain and haven’t been given even painkillers,” Ms Were said.
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Ethna Were, Ingusu’s aunt reprimanded the people involved in the incident for their ruthlessness saying that they have already labelled youths from Kihiu Mwiri village as fruit thieves.
“Just visit Kihiu Mwiri and you’ll witness that the majority of young men there are walking in clutches and others are healing wounds they got from beatings from the guards,” she said.
Wilson Nyoike, a youth from the village said that they are worried about the trend of the ‘guards’ brutality alleging that they have been colluding with police officers from the region to prefer trumped up charges against them.
“Today we were shocked to find that the report recorded at Ngati police post indicated that it was just a normal accident while eyewitnesses recounted how the guards chased the two boys,” he said.
“This has been ongoing because even if you get arrested at the farm you’ll be charged with stealing fruits.”
They now want the Government to intervene and investigate the cases of brutality meted on innocent youths in the village by the guards.
Gatanga Sub County Police Commander Patrick Nyanga confirmed the incident saying that it was just an accident at Del Monte farm and that further investigations are underway.