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Bar owners explain why there’s a surge in ‘mchele’ cases



By Judith Gicobi

The Bar, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) has attributed the surge in the number of persons being drugged (“mchele”) before being duped to the effects of Covid-19.

They claim that liquor is a luxury that many Kenyans shunned during the pandemic, but that now that it is available, some drinkers are overindulging.

However, according to BAHLITA Secretary General Boniface Gachoka, measures have been taken to reduce ‘mchele’ instances. “We have written to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti to provide a team of officers who will help [eliminate] this booming business.”

He stated that BAHLITA will collaborate with the Kenyan Pharmaceutical Society to uncover pharmacies providing the medications to ‘mchele’ dealers.

Daniel Ouma, the chairwoman of BAHLITA’s Kisumu branch, echoed the need to eradicate mchele in bars, saying they had encouraged bar owners to install CCTV cameras and teach waiters, managers, and bouncers on first-aid treatment.

“Once a client has been noted to be sleepy or drowsy, the first thing should be to wake them up and if he is not responding offer first aid,” he advised.

The medicines are mostly used as an anesthetic during operations and to treat psychosis. High doses can result in death, lifelong amnesia, and several days of lethargy.

Men have been lamenting the usage of ‘mchele’ on social media sites for the past two weeks, with some revealing that they have lost their possessions and cash.

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