The Star (Nairobi)

29 August 2012

Kenya: Barmaid Denies Killing Thirteen With Lethal Brew

A barmaid in Mbeere South District has been charged with manslaughter in a Siakago law court. Purity Nyaga, who appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Samuel Mokua was accused of allegedly killing 13 people on August 7 yesterday.

Nyaga was an employee of the bar that sold illicit brew where the 13 people died after the alcohol.

The court heard that as bar maid, she knowingly sold a lethal brew laced with methanol to her patron resulting in 13 of them dying. Thirty-three people were brought to the court as witnesses. Nyaga faced two charges. The first charge said she allegedly killed 12 people who included, Josphat Nyagah, Gilbert Gitonga, Johnson Muchangi, Mary Mbai, James Mbiti and Augustine Kiura.

Others included David Njeru, Patrick Mbai, Peterson Kariuki, Kennedy Mwangangi, Shadrack Mutembei and Boniface Mbogo Nguru. In the second charge, she was charged with one count of manslaughter. Nyaga is also alleged to have killed Ernest Njeru. The accused told the court she not guilty and mitigated her case by saying she was just an employee and hence should not be held accountable of the deaths.

The magistrate reminded Nyaga that she was facing a serious offence and should ask the government to provide her with a lawyer. Mokua also ordered that she be supplied with all the witnesses' statements and other documentary evidence at her own cost. The accused was released on a bond of Sh1 million with a surety of a similar amount. The case will be mentioned on September 7 and the hearing is slated for October 16.

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