The death of a young farm worker, Peter Mutuku Mutisya, has spiraled into a saga of mystery, intrigue, and alleged cover-up, leaving the local Kenyan community and his grieving family demanding answers. Mutisya, a 25-year-old chemical sprayer, met a grim fate last month when his body was discovered floating in a dam on the Del Monte farm, a place he had frequented not for work, but for an audacious attempt at pineapple theft that ended tragically.
The plot thickened as details emerged of Mutisya and his companions’ daring raid into the world’s biggest pineapple supplier, Del Monte. Martin Chege Mutuku, a friend and accomplice, recounted their stealthy mission on rafts across a dam and into the plantation. Their prize? Ripe, plump pineapples in field 74. But their escapade turned into a nightmare when security guards ambushed them. “I heard a scream and then silence,” Martin recounted, painting a picture of a chase gone horribly wrong.
The discovery of Mutisya’s body, swollen and marked, raised immediate suspicions. His father, Samuel Katendie, was horrified to find his son’s body bearing signs of violence, contradicting the official narrative of an accidental drowning. The case bore an eerie resemblance to that of Saidi Ngotho Ndungu, another farm worker whose body was found in a Del Monte dam under similar, mysterious circumstances back in 2013.
Adding to the controversy was the involvement of a private pathologist, hired by Del Monte, in Mutisya’s autopsy. His emphatic conclusion of death by drowning, with no third-party involvement, stood in stark contrast to the marks noted by a leading British forensic pathologist who reviewed the case. The discrepancies in the postmortem reports, the lack of standard forensic protocol, and the presence of petechial hemorrhages – a possible sign of strangulation – have only deepened the enigma surrounding Mutisya’s death.
The outcry reached the heartbroken mother, Hannah Wanjiru Nyambura, who struggled to reconcile the official findings with the harrowing account of her son’s final moments. “I did not agree with the result,” she said, echoing the sentiments of a community that smells foul play.
Del Monte, meanwhile, has expressed its cooperation with the Kenyan authorities and extended condolences to the family, maintaining that the judicial system should be the focus of any queries regarding the investigation.
The case has not only cast a shadow over Del Monte’s operations but has also put the Kenyan judicial system under the microscope, with questions arising about the integrity of investigations involving large corporations. As Mutisya’s family mourns, they, along with human rights observers, remain skeptical of the official narrative, fueling speculation and calls for justice in a tale that reads like a page from a detective novel.