Uncertainty surrounds the death of 62-year-old Agnes Njeri Mwaniki within the premises of Kakuzi farm, a company predominantly owned by shareholders from the United Kingdom.

The company controls 32,900 acres of land in Murang’a County, where on April 3, 2024, Mrs. Mwaniki sustained injuries that led to her demise.

Kakuzi has been under scrutiny, facing allegations and legal battles concerning acts of violence against locals who trespass on their land seeking firewood.

It’s within this context that Mrs. Mwaniki’s death has sparked discussions, with residents demanding a thorough investigation to determine if her death could have been prevented.

Among the reported abuses within the farm are allegations of murder, rape, and assault, which led to several European stores boycotting its products in 2020.

However, subsequent measures were implemented to respect human rights.

According to a police investigation recorded at the Makuyu station, Mrs. Mwaniki had entered Kakuzi farm to gather firewood.

An official report released by the South Murang’a Police Commander, Mrs. Jane Nyakeruma, stated that Mrs. Mwaniki was hit by a falling tree branch while others were cutting trees using machinery, resulting in fatal injuries.

“In the farm, there were others cutting trees using machines, and unfortunately, she was hit by a tree in the accident that occurred at five o’clock in the afternoon in Gathungururu village,” she said.

Through the report, Mrs. Nyakeruma stated that Mrs. Mwaniki received first aid at Makuyu hospital and was later transferred to the private Kenol hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Kakuzi company, in a statement on April 10, 2024, attributed the woman’s death to an accident.

“She was hit by a tree being cut by a contractor who had purchased trees from our farm. Our investigation shows that the woman did not have permission to enter our farm,” the statement signed by Mr. Wilson Odiyo, the employee manager, reads.

Mr. Odiyo, the employee manager, mentioned that the contractor is cooperating with the police in investigating the incident.

Murang’a Senator Mr. Joe Nyutu questions why there were no warnings issued to passersby about the danger of falling trees and how those involved in the exercise failed to remove those at risk of being hit.

“You cannot say that those cutting trees were blind to the extent that they did not see those at risk of being hit. Those involved in an activity that could endanger public lives must issue warnings and ensure the safety of all nearby,” Mr. Nyutu said.

A post-mortem report released on April 5, 2024, by Dr. Kamotho Watenga stated that Mrs. Mwaniki’s death resulted from a chest injury caused by blunt force trauma.

Dr. Watenga conducted the autopsy and prepared his report at the Montezuma Monalisa mortuary in Kabati.