One Man Dies After Overdosing Himself With Stolen Chang’aa.



Residents of Gathiga area in Gaichanjiru Location of Murang’a County woke up Wednesday Morning to a rude shock following the news of one person who died on after consuming a toxic drink believed to be chang’aa.

It is alleged that the deceased, a 30 year-old man called Njane, happened to see a well-known illicit dealer in Manjuu area hiding the brew in their shamba. After a while, Njane sneaked and unearthed the 20-litre jerry can of chang’aa and invited his buddies for a ‘beer party’ at his cubicle.

Concerned residents said that majority of those who drank the brew overdosed and could not even walk home.

“Most of them could not even walk and had to be dragged home unconscious. The deceased died of overdosing himself. As for me, I took three cups only and was able to reach home before I blackout,” said one of the survivors.

It was so sad to learn that the deceased’s father had a harambee last Saturday to help him raise sh. 200,000 to undergo a throat surgery at Kenyatta National Hospital. Plans to have him taken to the hospital today were thwarted by the reports of the son’s death.

“They held the harambee last Saturday to enable go for surgery at Kenyatta. We are now in a dilemma, will we use that money to bury his son or to take him to hospital?” posed a concerned woman.

One thing was certain amongst those we talked to during our brief visit. The sale of illicit brew in the area was rampant and the dealers worked in close links with the local administration for protection. They all feared being quoted since the dealers operated in impunity and always threatened to deal ruthlessly with anyone who reported their clandestine activities to the authorities.

“Illicit brews are in plenty here. The local administration here never listens to our cries. Our youth and our husbands access the liquor as early as 5am when we are taking milk to the dairies. We are appealing to the higher offices to intervene so that we can save our homes and our children can be able to go to school,” said one elderly woman.

They said that whenever anyone reported these cases, the authorities exposed their identities to the traders who threatened them with dire consequences. As a result, the villagers have resulted to withdrawing and painlessly watching their people perish in the hands of these killer brews.

“We can’t expose them because if we do, we are in real trouble. When we tell ‘munene’ (sub-chief), he turning back and revealing our identities to the seller who comes to your home at night with death threats. So, even if you know him you can’t talk,” said another lady.

One man appealed to the government to take action and discipline their area chief and his assistant whom he claimed were condoning the vice after being bribed.

We came to understand that the area chief had been previously been interdicted over similar scandals but he was reinstated and he is back to his old evil ways.

The women lamented that their husbands were failing to provide for them because they spent the little they had on alcohol. They said that alcohol was leaving them with no choice but bring up orphans and grandchildren whose parents had either died of alcohol or were irresponsible and non-productive.

The villagers informed us that they physically protested and engaged area sub-chief and the police when they attempted to arrest one of the youth who was said to be among those who took he brew the previous night.

“We prevented the police from going along with him because they were targeting the wrong persons instead of the sellers who they all know. Instead of arresting the seller they arresting the victim,” said one woman.
Luckily, the eight youth involved are in a stable condition and could afford to compare notes, recalling events that almost brought their lives to an end.

The OCS Gaichanjiru Police Station confirmed the death but denied any knowledge of illicit brew sales in Manjuu area. 

The body of the deceased is lying at Gaichanjiru Mission Hospital Mortuary.
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