The industry lobby announced that they had engaged the DCI to provide a dedicated team of officers to address the menace. [Photo/ Thingstodo]
The industry lobby announced that they had engaged the DCI to provide a dedicated team of officers to address the menace. [Photo/ Thingstodo]

Bar owners in Kenya under the umbrella of the Bar, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) have announced measures to be taken in a bid to curb surging cases of the ‘mchele’ menace.

The worrying trend has seen numerous customers of popular entertainment joints have their drinks laced before they are stolen from. Most of those targeted are men, lured by women who form part of organized syndicates engaging in the practice.

The bar owners announced that they had engaged the DCI to provide a dedicated team of officers to address the menace.

The association has also sought out the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya in a bid to identify chemists selling the pills used in the cases.

They further announced a raft of measures bar operators should implement to protect their patrons. Describing the mchele menace as a ‘booming business’, BAHLITA Secretary General Boniface Gachoka declared that they were determined to put an end to it.

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They urged all of their members to install CCTV cameras to keep a close eye on happenings within their premises.

The association is also pushing for training of staff including bouncers, waiters and waitresses to be able to identify cases of ‘mchele’, provide first aid if necessary and rein in perpetrators.

“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,” stated Daniel Ouma who chairs BAHLITA’s Kisumu branch.

“If the person responsible for [lacing] the drink can be identified, liaise with the police and track them, if not post them on social media platforms,” he added.

The association attributed the spike in cases of mchele to increased indulgence by patrons following the easing of various Covid-19 restrictions on operating hours of bars and restaurants.

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