The Star (Nairobi)

1 May 2012

Kenya: Three Arrested Over Chang'aa

Police in Gatundu South yesterday arrested three people found in possession of 15 litres of chang'aa. The arrest comes in the wake of Monday's demonstration by residents of Kimunyu who were protesting the death of a 25-year-old man after drinking a brew. Area OCPD Peter Katam told the residents, especially the youth, to stop taking illicit brews.

He urged parents and guardians to give their children proper guidance. "In cases where the children are not cooperative kindly inform us so that we can intervene to maintain law and order," said the police boss on phone. Irate residents of Kimunyu in Gatundu South on Monday took to the street protesting the mushrooms of illicit brews in area that on Monday claimed the life of a 25 year old man.

The protesters who were mostly women were particularly angered by the death of Kevin Gatacha who was found dead in his house on Monday morning after drinking chang'aa at a local den the previous evening. Waving placards and twigs, the demonstrators accused the local administration and police of laxity and in some cases collusion with brewers and sellers of illicit liquors in the area. They demanded an overhaul of the two government organs.

The deceased mother Margaret Gatacha said the body of his son was discovered on Monday morning after he failed to wake up. She said the previous evening he had been fine before leaving for the chang'aa drinking den. Last Sunday, residents of Makwa in Gatundu North protested to Chania D.O. Salat Lunani over increased brewing, sale and consumption of outlawed brews and narcotic.

They called for area chief who was present during a Baraza at Makwa Community Health Centre to be sacked. They said the administrator was abusing office because he enjoys protection from a senior civil servant who helped him to regain his job after he was sacked for allowing the skyrocketing of brews in his location.

Several people have died from drinking these substances. The recent one being a week ago, when a man drowned after imbibing the brew. Makwa's Chania and Kariminu Rivers in Gatundu North and Theta, Ndarugu and Juja Rivers in Gatundu South produced the bulk of Cha

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