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Man sues power firm and County for death of wife

A man has taken the Kenya Power & Lighting company and the County government of Machakos to court seeking compensation for the death of his wife who was allegedly electrocuted by a live wire.

In a case filed before at the Machakos High Court, Stephen Mutua now wants the power distribution firm and the county government of Machakos compelled to compensate the family for the death of his wife Mary Kavata Masika.

Mutua told Chief Magistrate Alfred Kibiru his late wife met her death after being electrocuted by an electric wire outside the Machakos Stadium on October 20, 2016 during Mashujaa day celebrations.

The celebrations were attended by the head of State President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, Governor Dr Alfred Mutua among a host of other leaders.

The widower told the court his wife who had left home early to attend the celebrations could not have met her death had both the Kenya Power personnel and the County government of Machakos  taken all the necessary precautions to avert such outcomes owing to the large number of people who were expected to throng the venue.

He said he only came to learn about the tragic incident after a stranger called him informing him that his wife had been involved in an accident at the stadium.

“On the fateful day I was at home when I received a phone call from a Good Samaritan who informed me that my wife had been involved in a grisly incident at the Machakos Stadium as people were scrambling to enter into the arena. But on arrival at the scene someone informed me that my wife had already been rushed to the Machakos Level 5 hospital for treatment,” he told the court.

Mutua said upon arrival at the hospital he learnt his wife had already died from the severe shock she received from the electric current.

He further told the court of how he later visited the scene of the incident only to find the naked electric wires dangling dangerously near the stadium perimeter fence, the scene of his wife’s tragic end.

A witness, who claimed to have been at the scene during the tragic event and who identified herself as Pastor Jennifer Mumbua Mutune, claimed the deceased had been trying to jump over a fence after realising that police officers were restricting the crowd which was pushing to get into the stadium that was already full to capacity.

Mutune said it was while the deceased was trying to scamper from the charging police officers that she tripped and stepped on the live wires.

The witness said she with assistance from others managed to pull the deceased from the power lines and afterwards called for an ambulance which rushed her to hospital.

“She tripped over the fence and leaned on the post which had live wires that were exposed. I called for help and we managed to pull her off from the post. An ambulance was then called and she was rushed to hospital. I later took her handbag and managed to find her husband’s number and notified him of the incident,” she told the court.

According to the autopsy report which was produced before the court, the deceased is said to have had two deep marks on her left arm.

The complainant is now blaming the county government of Machakos and the power utility firm for the death of his wife claiming they should have ensured that the stadium was safe for people to access.

But the company says the deceased was obligated   to take care of her own safety and as such it cannot be blamed for causing her death.

On the other hand, the county government has absolved itself from the blame saying it was the duty of the Kenya Power Company of ensuring that their equipment and power supply lines are safe.

The hearing continues on May 21, 2019.

By Samuel Maina and Daniel Kalii

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