It’s death sen­tence for woman who killed cus­tomers with poi­soned brew

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Judiciary -

A brewer of il­licit liquor was sen­tenced to death yes­ter­day for in­ten­tion­ally sell­ing poi­sonous chang’aa, which killed five peo­ple and caused per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ties to oth­ers.

Jenif­fer Wan­jiru, alias Mama Flora, alias Mama Mwangi, alias Mama Kabiri, com­mit­ted the of­fence five years ago. Jus­tice Jessie Le­siit (pic­tured) said she in­ten­tion­ally laced the brew, com­monly known as yokozuna, with ethanol and sold it to cus­tomers.

The five who lost their lives after drink­ing the brew in Gi­ta­m­baya vil­lage, Ruiru, on Septem­ber 11, 2011, were Fes­tus Nzuki, David Nd­uati, Sa­muel Wan­jiku, Julius Mwangi and Jane Ka­mau. Le­siit said Wan­jiru knew the lev­els of ethanol and methanol she had put in the brew were very high and would cause death to her cus­tomers.

She had been charged with eight counts of mur­der, but the judge found her guilty of caus­ing the deaths of five peo­ple. Le­siit said though Wan­jiru was a first of­fender, she was “to­tally in­dif­fer­ent as to the ef­fect of the al­co­hol she was sell­ing”. She said many of her vic­tims ended up in hos­pi­tals in se­vere con­di­tions, while oth­ers will live with per­ma­nent con­di­tions.

Wan­jiru was first charged in a Thika court with sell­ing il­licit brew but the DPP sub­sti­tuted the charges after post­mortem re­sults showed the vil­lagers died after drink­ing liquor laced with methanol. Wan­jiru pleaded with the court for le­niency, say­ing she was sorry for her acts. “I plead with the court to for­give me as I am a first of­fender. I am sick and I was the sole bread win­ner in my fam­ily. I have also learnt my les­son,” she said.

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