My bosses set me on fire, says truck driver

What you need to know:

  • A video secretly recorded by one of the workers and which the Daily Nation has watched shows Mr Njoroge being tied with ropes to a tyre, with some of the managers debating what to do to him as more than 30 workers watch in disbelief.
  • Mr Njoroge said two months after his ordeal, the police were yet to take action against his attackers or record statements from witnesses. According to Mr Njoroge, the case was reported at Mariakani police station.

A truck driver with a Mombasa-based transport company is accusing his former managers of tying him up, putting a tyre on him and setting him on fire in a brutal act of torture.

The driver was accused of stealing cargo — aluminium coils worth millions of shillings — and has been charged with the offence.

Mr Isaac Njoroge, 38, said he was beaten and part of his body burnt in an attack supervised by the managers at the company premises at Jomvu.

A video secretly recorded by one of the workers and which the Daily Nation has watched shows Mr Njoroge being tied with ropes to a tyre, with some of the managers debating what to do to him as more than 30 workers watch in disbelief.

POLICE YET TO TAKE ACTION

Mr Njoroge said two months after his ordeal, the police were yet to take action against his attackers or record statements from witnesses.

According to Mr Njoroge, the case was reported at Mariakani police station.

Mariakani OCPD Patrick Ngeiwa said police were still investigating the incident with some witnesses having recorded statements. “We expect that this week a key witness will also record a statement after which we will arrest the culprits and charge them in court,” he added.

After the incident, during which he suffered serious burns on his back, Mr Njoroge said he was not taken to hospital but to a police station.

The police, however, ordered the managers to first have him treated.

And Monday, the driver narrated his narrow escape from the tongues of fire that would have consumed him were it not for the quick action of some of the workers at the company.

After the theft, he secured another job, he said. “It was on January 27 when I was on my way to pick up a truck belonging to my new employer when a truck pulled up beside me.

Isaac Njoroge, 38-year-old truck driver who says he was burnt using a highly inflammable substance on his right shoulder by his former employers after the goods he was transporting from Mombasa to Nairobi got lost. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

MANHANDLED

"A supervisor at my former employer manhandled and pushed me into the vehicle and drove to their yard where I was tortured,” he alleged.

“After being tied to the tyre, one of the men poured thinner (which is highly flammable) on my back and lit the fire,” the father of seven said, showing the wounds that are yet to heal.

He said employees grabbed fire extinguishers and sprayed him with foam, even as the man who had lit the fire said they should let him die.

Mr Njoroge said he left hospital soon after, but was arrested, held for two days and charged in a Nairobi court where he denied stealing goods in transit. He was released on a Sh100,000 bond. 

In another recording after he was burnt, some workers are heard protesting over the action, but one of the managers tells them off, saying they would “not do anything”.

Kwa nini umemchoma? Kwa nini? Hajaua mtu! Kwa nini umechukua sheria mkononi (Why did you burn him? He has not killed anyone. Why have you taken the law into your hands)?” a worker is heard protesting.

Ndio, amechomwa na tumechukua sheria mkononi. Utafanya nini? (Yes, we have burnt him and taken the law into our hands, so what will you do about it?”) retorts one of the managers.

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