A worker at the Mumias Sugar Company died after he slipped and fell into a chemical tank on Sunday.
Mr Dickson Inganga, 54, succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at St Mary’s Hospital.
Mr Inganga was rescued from the tank and rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead while being treated, said Sarrai Group Operations Manager Stephen Kihumba.
“We lost Mr Inganga after he slipped and fell while cleaning the syrup tank. I was informed of the accident while in church and quickly rushed to the scene. We rushed him to hospital but he left us,” Mr Kihumba said.
Mr Inganga’s family is seeking answers from Mumias Sugar managers, claiming they were informed about the accident after the body of their relative was taken to the mortuary.
His wife, Beatrice Inganga, said they were told his body was taken to the mortuary by the police, indicating that he died instantly.
“Why did the management of Mumias fail to inform us about the accident, only to call us after they had taken his body to the mortuary? We are reading mischief in the death of my husband,” Ms Inganga said.
She said guards denied family members entry at the company’s gate.
“We wanted to see where my husband died. But the head of security at the gate took us to the guest house and did not allow us into the factory. We don’t know how he died because we have not even seen his body,” she said.
The family now wants the government to intervene and help them get justice.
Mr Kihumba said the man’s family was called immediately after the accident and they arrived in a group of 15 people.
“We held a meeting with them plus two of the deceased [man’s] colleagues, who explained to all of us how it happened. There is nothing fishy we can do to our employees,” he said.
“We reported the matter to the police and insurers and everything was handled according to the law. We shall support the family and his colleagues as they [deal] with the loss.”
Patrick Mutimba, the chairman of the workers’ union at the factory, accused the new investor, Sarrai Group, of harassing and intimidating employees.
He said Sarrai managers are rude and do not care about the welfare of Mumias Sugar workers.
“This is not how a company of the magnitude of Mumias should be run. The voice of employees must be listened to, but in Mumias, we are seen as people who don’t matter at all. There is a lot of pressure on us because of too much work and very few workers,” Mr Mutimba claimed.
He said Mr Inganga dropped into the syrup tank after slipping from a rotten metal bar that could not bear his weight.