No fewer than seven people died and five others were hospitalized on Wednesday after consuming toxic brew in Thika town of central Kenya’s Kiambu County.
Kiambu County Chief Public Officer, Dominic Gicheru, said the deceased were reportedly on a drinking spree since Monday.
“It is unfortunate that such a tragedy happened in Kiambu while a crackdown on illicit brew was still underway,” Gicheru said.
Some survivors said they bought the drinks from motorcycle taxi operators who collected the stuff on the roadside near a local hotel.
The taxi operators took the brew to the county’s Kiandutu slum where they sold at throw-away prices.
It is reported that no fewer than 30 people, including women, took it while eight cartons of the brew are said to be in circulation in most shops in Thika.
And it was not clear where the brew originated from.
Most of the victims were from the sprawling Kiandutu slums and were casual labourers and motorcycle and public transport operators from Thika.
Upon consumption, they started feeling dizzy, developed stomachaches, headaches and loss of appetite.
Some of them were reported to have started to lose sight before succumbing to death, recalled the survivors.
Residents, especially in central Kenya, have said local administration personnel were being compromised by brewers, whom are carrying out business in the open without being arrested.
The government launched a crackdown on illicit brews across the country soon after some incidents in 2014 with several people being charged for manufacturing the deadly spirits.
Home brew is popular among Kenyans because it is cheap and extremely strong.
Traditionally, the ingredients used in brewing the drinks range from fermented corn and sorghum meal to juice from coconut and sugarcane.

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