Citizens in the UK have raised concerns over Kenyan avocados retailing in their supermarkets, linking them to brutal crimes committed in Kenya.
Reports published by the British media indicated that guards working for Kakuzi, a farming estate in Kenya owned by the British tycoons, are accused of extreme violence against the residents.
79 claims have been made against the farm since 2009, with some extreme ones including killing a 28-year old by security guards for stealing avocados from the farm.
On their part, the farm owners argued that its crops need to be protected from thieves, especially avocados, which are the most valuable plant crops.
On September 3, 2016, two members of the press sustained injuries after they were reportedly clobbered by Kakuzi company guards during protests in Murang’a County.
The British-owned firm has been rapidly expanding its avocado planting to meet the high demands, which causes clashes with locals, which was what allegedly transpired, leading to the killing of the journalists.
The slain journalists were covering demonstrations by Gititu Secondary School students against the firm’s move to reclaim a parcel of land it gave the schools over a decade ago.
Nation Media Journalist James Mburu and his Royal Media Services counterpart Julius Kariithi said the guards who pounced on them retreated after the students fled.
In June 2019, the area resident (Murigi Njogu) disclosed that they had to walk with passes whenever they move around the farm.
For about 30 years, communities at Kangangu and Mangoto villages, which neighbors the expansive land in Murang’a County, have been at loggerheads with the contentious company.
Kakuzi’s parent company, based in Kent, is currently being sued for negligence in failing to prevent the abuse.