A hospital laboratory cleaner’s apparent experimentation of lacing a container of illicit kachasu gin with illegally-acquired office drugs –in the hope of making the drink much more potent– back-fired and created a poisonous brew that killed the initiator and two of his colleagues who drank the brew.
Godfrey Nyowera, 44, who was a laboratory cleaner at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, died after taking the brew with five of his colleagues, two of whom also died later, after they complained of severe stomachache and signs of food poisoning.
According to Lilongwe Police Station investigations, Nyowera came from Kwanjana Village, in Traditional Authority Bvumbwe, in Thyolo District.
The other two who also died are Patrick Harawa, 34, who came from Chiwale Village, in Traditional Authority Mwalweni, in Rumphi District, and Bernard Phiri, 50, who hailed from Zatuwa Village, in Traditional Authority Kaluluma, in Kasungu District.
Shedding more light on the incident, Lilongwe Police Station spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula told The Nation in Lilongwe on Friday that Amos Nkonjo, 50, who also drank the ‘doctored’ kachasu, was at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe in a critical situation.
“The whereabouts of the two other people who also drank the brew, at Njewa suburban, are not known. But we are investigating, to find out if Nyowera, indeed, stole the hospital drug and we also want to ascertain what drug it was. In this light, samples of the potent kachasu have been sent to a hospital laboratory for testing,” Dandaula stated.
He appealed to the public not to indulge in life-threatening experiments.
Added Dandaula: “It is highly regrettable that even apparently mature and elderly people somehow indulge in dangerous experiments. We hear that some people mix their beer with some ARV drugs, or that they induce fermentation by using ground cotton seeds or fertiliser: this is dangerous and must stop.”