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NGUSO and MUKACHA-Illicit brews burning livers and lungs of Tseikuru residents

Two poisonous illicit brews have made able-bodied men in Nziitu village, Tseikuru township waste away lazing around drinking dens all days at the cost of their health.
Two young people during a MWINGI TIMES interview at a Nguso drinking den in Nziitu village, Tseikuru township, Mwingi North Sub County in Kitui County/MWINGI TIMES 

Mwendwa*  middle-aged man tells MWINGI TIMES that Nguso and Mukacha are the worst illicit brews in this region. "Nguso and Mukacha burn our lungs and liver" , he says having had his friends fall victim to the unregulated alcohol industry.

Mwendwa goes on to reveal that for a new client, Nguso is too strong a drink that the new customer cannot finish a cup of the brew.

"If you take one cup of Nguso, you can't ask for more since you will not finish it. It makes you lack appetite to eat food", says the youth who also does casual labour of keeping livestock in the area.

In a drunken stupor, Mwendwa brags that he doesn't feel any side effects of Nguso since he "is used to it". But he asks for KSh20 to go and take a cup of the illicit brew.

We visited the drinking dens and the drunkards told us that police have aided the mushrooming of illicit brews in Nziitu. This is by, they say, coming to the drinking dens to solicit for bribes twice a week. 

With Tseikuru town being one of the largest markets in Kitui County, Thursdays are marked by many Nguso and Mukacha clients who pass by their favourite places to ask for some cups of the illicit brews.

Mawa and Kaluvu, the Ukambani traditional brews face "stiff competition" from these foreign and more consequential drinks. They are prepared by use of sour millet.

All the illicit drink preparation is done by women while most drunken customers are men.  

However, there is price standardization where all the brews here cost KSh20 per cup.

A police officer who requested anonymity wondered why the illicit brews cannot be eradicated from Tseikuru.

Jesse Wahiguru attributes the burning of lungs and livers of customers in Tseikuru to rogue suppliers most of who come from Meru County. "Soon I'll look for a license to supply nguco unga. Nimeona mnaletewa ile chafu"

*Name changed to protect the identity of the  illicit brews user.


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