Police in Isinya, Kajiado County are investigating two deaths feared to have been caused by adulterated liquor.
The two deaths occurred on Friday, February 9, 2024, and today Sunday, February 11, 2024, respectively within Kitengela town in Kajiado.
In the first incident, 41-year-old Dominic Muna is reported to have died hours after he consumed liquor at a joint within the Panai area. According to his family, Muna complained of blurred vision and discomfort but succumbed while receiving treatment.
``The doctor's report, which we currently want to keep confidential, revealed that Muna died after consuming adulterated liquor. By the time he succumbed, his eyesight was lost and rapidly developed organ failure. We are mourning as a family and we would not wish to give more details,’’ a close relative said.
In another incident, a 52-year-old male died a day after being reported to have been ill and eyesight lost after consuming liquor at a joint within the town.
A doctor who treated the middle-aged male confirmed that the deceased died as a result of killer brew.
``All the signs point to ethanol poisoning. The patient was totally blind when he was brought in and he developed organ failure leading to his death,’’ the doctor who sought anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter said.
The incidents have sparked fear and speculations among Kitengela residents over existence of killer liquor within the populous town amid concerns of uncontrolled cheap liquor especially Chang’aa sold in the back streets of the town.
"Nowadays pubs are open as early as 6 am and operate throughout the day. The pubs sell cheap liquor which at times is sold as half commonly known as Kata. The number of wines and spirits joints have also increased and we doubt if some are licensed because they operate in the most cavalier manner. Some are within residential areas and liquor consumers visit houses which ordinarily one would think is just a rental house and grab the liquor,’’ Earnest Mutisya, a resident of Kitengela, said.
In the recent past residents of the Noonkopir area have also raised concerns about increased chang'aa supply in the area.
Locals blame police for laxity in addressing the outcry saying instead the officers who conduct patrols are bribed.
``Police have failed us as Kitengela residents on matters of illicit brew. They collude with the brewers and suppliers and take no action against joints operating illegally and beyond the stipulated time. The illicit brew has recently been turned into a police cash cow by some rogue selfish police officers,’’ John Wimbia, a resident said.
Following the two incidents, police yesterday conducted a major raid on pubs and wines and spirit shops within the town.
Isinya Sub County police commander Patrick Manyasi says detectives are investigating the two incidents further saying the Sunday liquor raid operation was just a normal operation.
``We cannot conclude that the duo died of illicit brew but we are not taking chances. We are closely working with relatives to unravel the cause of their deaths. The duo succumbed to similar symptoms,’’ Manyasi said.
Manyasi said the victim who succumbed on Sunday is said to have inhaled a toilet cleaning detergent.
``We are interrogating one of the bar attendants who the deceased was last spotted with. The woman claims that she had bought a toilet washing detergent said to have been poisonous and the deceased allegedly smelt the same and later reported to have fallen ill. We are on high alert and investigations on all the raised concerns have been launched,’’ Manyasi added.
The bodies are being preserved at the Kitengela Sub County Hospital mortuary.
Early last week, 13 people died in Kirinyaga after consuming illicit brew that left others blind.