Six people have lost their lives, and five others have been struck by blindness after consuming illicit brew in Kangai village, Kirinyaga County.
Videos circulating show residents surrounding the five affected individuals.
Addressing people who had gathered around the victims, Kirinyaga Health CEC George Karoki said the symptoms strongly suggested the presence of ethanol in the bootleg alcohol.
"The type of symptoms and signs that are very exhibiting themselves from these particular patients have shown that they were having blurred vision, they could not see well," Karoki stated.
"We suspect this illicit brew had ethanol because of the signs and symptoms that they exhibited; it showed that they had blurred vision and could not see well," Karoki told the members of the Forth Estate.
"This type of chemical can cause liver cirrhosis and other nervous system problems, including that sign where they cannot see well."
Karoki noted that one of the victims who was already sick died after being rushed to the hospital.
"There was a case that was referred to Kerugoya County referral hospital, but it could not be managed, and we have reported that that patient died on arrival at the facility."
Illicit brew on the rise
In an incident in November, police in Murang'a launched a manhunt for a local businessman named Peter Nduati, also known as Mike Power, who was suspected of making and selling illegal alcohol.
Authorities raided Nduati's home in Kahuro, where they found 680 litres of ethanol and equipment for brewing liquor. They also discovered packaged alcohol ready for sale.
Two individuals found on the premises were arrested. County Commissioner Patrick Mukuria led the operation, prompted by tips from the public.
Despite previous complaints, Nduati allegedly continued his illegal activities. Mukuria estimated the seized ethanol's value at Ksh500,000 and emphasized the danger of uncertified alcohol.
Police Commander David Kainga pledged to apprehend Nduati, who was reportedly in hiding.
Kainga stated that Nduati operated 19 bars selling his illicit brews, which have been confirmed as fake by Kenya Revenue Authority officers.