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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Chief linked to Thika killer brew

Three people were confirmed dead and at least 10 hospitalised after drinking a lethal brew at a bar in Githima, Gatuanyaga location of Thika East allegedly co-owned by Gatuanyaga sublocation assistant chief Esther Njau and Charles Ndung’u.
The victims allegedly took a brew named Dallas Gin. Later they started complaining of stomachache, diarrhoea, headache, vomiting, sunken and impaired eyesight.
The first victim Anthony Njenga fell outside the Jamhuri  Bar after drinking the brew and was taken to the nearby Munyu Health Centre before he was referred to Thika Level 5 Hospital where he died later that evening. “I was called from the church by my husband who told me that my son had fallen sick outside the bar. I rushed to the scene and found him breathing in pain. We hurriedly took him to Munyu Health Centre and later to Thika Level 5 Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment,” said Esther Gichigu, 49, the mother of the deceased.
She said she was ready even to die if illicit brews in the area can be eradicated. She said she was bitter to lose her firstborn child aged 30 through the sale and consumption of illicit brews that were rampant in the area. She said they had persistently complained to the authority over the menace without any action being taken.
“These brews, drugs and miraa are sold from as early as 6 am until past midnight with the full knowledge of the administration and police. We are left at the mercy of God,” said Gichigu who was being consoled by villagers at her Githima home.
Gichigu said that the said subchief co-owned the bar with Ndung’u but the administrator used her daughter, Ng’endo, name to conceal her business. She said she the chief also owned two other bars in Munyu. But the chief vehemently denied she owned any bar insisting it belonged to Ndung’u.
The son of the man who sold the plot confirmed the business was co-owned by the chief and the business man. The administrator however confirmed that she had been summoned by police to record a statement over the deaths. Villagers said that the chief used a local go down as her distilling point from where she distribute the brews to her bars and others.
Eustace Kimathi Mwenda and Joseph Gitau Mungai died at their homes on Monday after drinking the poisonous brew at the bar. A survivor Solomon Gatara, 30, said he was admitted at Munyu’s Health Centre complaining of headache, stomachache, diarrhoea and impaired eyesight.
“We were drinking Dallas Gin at the pub owned by an asssistant chief called Wanja from Gatuanyaga with the deceased  and those hospitalised when we started this complications. I learnt later they had died.” They said they had started drinking the brew on Saturday at 9 am to 2 pm when they parted. Among those hospitalised was Ian Kigathe a relative of Kiambu MP Jude Jomo.