What was supposed to be a mere alcohol drinking competition among imbibers at a makeshift shebeen outside Wenela Bus Station in Blantyre, turned fatal on Tuesday afternoon when one of the competitors collapsed and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
An eyewitness who operates a hawker at a provisional market where the shebeen is located, said a group of men were participating in a kachasu– drinking competition when two of them suddenly collapsed.
Police have confirmed the death of a man they identified as Alfred Mofolo. His colleague was resuscitated later.
Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Elizabeth Divala said Mofolo’s particulars are not yet known apart from that he was a resident of Majiga, in Ndirande Township.
She said: “It was reported by the owner of the shebeen Lawrence Mvula, that Mofolo was taking the alcohol on an empty stomach when he suddenly collapsed in the middle of consumption and police were alerted of the situation. He was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital [QECH] where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”
Divala said the hospital is yet to conduct post-mortem to determine the cause of death and the body is being kept at the hospital mortuary.
Several cases of people dying after drinking kachasu, a local distilate, excessively on an empty stomach have been reported nationwide recently. At the beginning of this month, an 81-year-old man in Mangochi reportedly died in similar circumstances.