Uganda: Local gin mixture ‘nguli’ kills several

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An illicit gin locally called nguli has killed 120 people in Uganda in the last six months.

Since January 2010 began, 10 people have died after drinking ‘nguli’. The last group of five people died last Friday at a place called Banda, on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Earlier on, another five died in the Gulu district in northern Uganda.

Twelve other people were admitted in Mulago referral hospital in critical condition.

The police officer in charge of the area where the people died on Friday, Jerome Oswa said, “The bodies were taken to hospital for postmortem. It was discovered that the 5 people died after drinking nguli mixed with methanol. We are hunting for the people who sold the bad nguli to the deceased.”

Oswa however said he is disappointed by people still drinking the illicit concoction even after the government warns them against drinking it .

“Ever since mid last year when people started dying after taking illicit gin, the government has been warning people against taking it but they turn a deaf ear,” said Oswa.

One man in the Kampala area, Gregory Nkata, said he cannot give up drinking nguli, just lke many other people in the area, due to poverty.

Nkata said, “I and many of the people living here cannot afford buying bottled beer at 2000 Uganda shillings per bottle (equivalent of 1.2 US dollars ) yet we can buy nguli at as low as 100 Uganda shillings( equivalent of 5 US cents) per glass.

A report by government chemists released yesterday, showed that the nguli which killed people in Uganda contained over 50 per cent methanol.

The report said the local people who distill the gin add in methanol thinking it will make the gin stronger only to end up killing innocent drinkers.

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