A supermarket in Bomet town was hurriedly closed on Friday after members of the public stormed it to demand answers on the death of a customer allegedly beaten to death by staff for stealing shoe polish.
The 23-year-old victim, identified as Benjamin Kirui, is alleged to have stolen a carton carrying a dozen tins of shoe polish at the Green Rose Supermarket on Tuesday morning.
The goods were valued at Sh 1,500.
The suspect is said to have passed out during the attack, forcing the supermarket’s staff to pour water on him and later rushing him to Bomet police station after he regained consciousness.
On Friday, residents stormed to demand an explanation from the management.
The proprietor Mr Kibet Cheruiyot declined to speak on the matter while acting manager Ms Jenniffer Chelangat said she did not have authority to speak to the press.
“The man was brought in on Tuesday by two employees of the supermarket using a boda boda and they claimed that the victim had been beaten by a mob following the theft,” said Mrs Naomi Ichami, the Bomet County Police Commander.
Mrs Ichami said the man died while undergoing treatment at Bomet Sub County hospital where he was taken for treatment shortly after being brought to the station.
“Investigations into the incident has commenced and we will take necessary action against the attackers as no one should take the law into their hands,” said Mrs Ichami.
Members of the public insist the victim was beaten by the supermarket’s staff.
“It has come out clearly that the management is attempting to cover up the incident with claims of the victim having been subjected to a mob justice. No one, not even the owners of adjacent business premises or boda boda riders can collaborate the claim,” said Mr Tyson Saitoti a human rights activist.