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Suspected shoplifter beaten to death over Sh1,500 shoe polish

Friday May 17 2019

Green Rose Supermarket

Members of public outside the Green Rose Supermarket in Bomet on Friday morning. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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Angry residents stormed a supermarket in Bomet on Friday morning demanding answers after a man was beaten to death for allegedly shoplifting.

The 23-year-old man was accused of stealing a carton containing a dozen cans of shoe polish worth Sh1,500 at the Green Rose Supermarket.

Some employees of the supermarket allegedly descended on the man with kicks and blows before he passed out. It is alleged that they poured cold water on him and them took him to Bomet Police Station.

ATTACK

The supermarket was closed at around 10am on Friday after residents stormed in and demanded an explanation from the management over the discrepancies in the statements given over the attack.

The proprietor, Mr Kibet Cheruiyot, declined to speak on the matter while the acting manager Ms Jennifer Chelangat said she did not have authority to speak to the press.

Bomet County Police Commander Naomi Ichami said the victim died at Bomet Sub-County Hospital while he was undergoing treatment.

Ms Ichami said the victim was brought to the police station by two employees of the supermarket who claimed that he had been beaten by a mob on the roadside after a theft incident.

But witnesses said the man was beaten inside the supermarket by staff members.

Mr Tyson Saitoti, a human rights and political activist, called on the management of the supermarket to release surveillance video of the incident.

“The management owes the public an explanation as a CCTV footage of the attack has not been availed for perusal. It cannot be business as usual for the management,” Mr Saitoti said.

Ms Ichami said police have opened probe into the incident. “We will take necessary action against the attackers as no one should take the law into their hands,” said Mrs Ichami.

The body of the victim was moved to Longisa County Referral Hospital awaiting a post-mortem examination.