The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is investigating the death of Ezra Ron Conyando of the Kibos Sugar and Allied companies in Kisumu.
Conyando, 29, is alleged to have drowned in a pool while repairing a pipe used to channel water into the factory.
“When he slipped and fell into the water, his colleagues rushed to rescue him, but it was too late. He later died while receiving treatment at the Consolata Hospital near Guba at Mamboleo.
“The DCI have taken up the case and upon completion of investigations, we will reveal the exact cause of death,” said Alphonse Kimathi, Kisumu County Commander.
Through the company’s corporate affairs manager, the company refuted claims Conyando died by falling in a boiler, saying that the incident happened at the companies water plant.
“He was removed, given first aid and later rushed to hospital. However, he was pronounced dead on arrival. The matter is with the police,” she said.
In an interview with one of the staffers, colleagues who witnessed the accident said death of Conyando would have been avoided and that it was a case of negligence on the part of the organisation.
The staffer further noted that if Conyando would have been given floaters to prevent him from drowning then his death would have been averted.
The family of the deceased also noted that the company would have avoided the death by responding swiftly when called upon.
Conyando parents said that it took the company more than half an hour to respond and take him to hospital when the incident happened.
“There should be quick response when one’s life is in danger. My son was still alive when he was rescued, but again the mode of transport used was not an ambulance, which worsened the situation since he was uncomfortable,” said his father.
“The company has neglected its workers. We enquired and was told that there are life jackets and floaters available. The question was why were they not given out? Why wasn’t there an alarm to alert other people?
That forced his fellow workers to run on foot to call for help. According to me, there was a lot of negligence on the part of the Kibos management,” said his mother.
Conyando’s body is being preserved at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.
This is not the only incident at Kibos factory. Another case was reported in 2014, when an employee died after a company tractor ran over him.
In April 2021, another worker died at the private mill after accidentally falling over the factory’s conveyor belt.