, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – April 10th, 2009 was a Friday like any other, and Jackson Mwangi – well known to his friends as Jack – was out with friends.
He had planned to be out until 11 pm because he was scheduled to catch a bus to Murang’a the following morning to attend the burial of his step sister Njoki.
With his three friends who included one of his workmates at a local communications company, Mwangi started off the evening at a city pub before they headed to a popular joint in Lang’ata where they intended to drink the night away.
“I had no worries because after all, I was sitting with my fiends. We were seated near the counter and would (from time to time) go to the dance floor one at a time,” he recalls.
After a couple of drinks, Mwangi’s friend spotted a woman whom he later introduced as his ex-girlfriend, Mercy Njeri.
“They greeted one another cheerfully and she pointed to one of the tables where she was seated to show us another of her friends. We just nodded and continued taking our drinks,” he said.
Over time, Mwangi started interacting with Njeri’s friend. “She introduced herself as Caroline Kalekye. One could think we were couples because of the way we were seated. I did not suspect anything would go wrong. Not at all,” he said in an interview with Capital News.
“At about 11pm, I wanted to leave the pub but my friend insisted we stay and was even supported by the two women who kept insisting that we have one more (drink),” he said.
Mwangi’s friend soon left with his ex-girlfriend.
Beginning of troubles:
“That was the beginning of my troubles; I think she spiked my drink because that was the final scenario I recall on that particular night. I can’t even remember how we left though I recall paying the bills,” he said.
Mwangi cannot even tell how he went home because he was found lying on his bed, with empty pockets and some items missing in his house; his two mobile phones, DVD, a mini digital camera, two ATMs and three pairs of his shoes were also missing the following day.
“It is by the grace of God that I am alive today, quick intervention by my friends and my cousin saved my life. They quickly rushed me to a hospital in Hurlingham where I was de-toxicated and put on bed-rest for seven days,” he recalls.
“The doctor informed me that I had been intoxicated by spiking, but I am yet to understand what was used to take away my senses,” he said.
“But after three days on the hospital bed, I was able to regain my consciousness and started re-collecting events of that night. The friend I was drinking with that night came to see me in hospital and pledged to find out from her former girlfriend.”
“Shortly after, my friend came in with his ex girlfriend who claimed not to know the whereabouts of her friend Kalekye,” says Mwangi who immediately expresses doubt with that story.
“How could she have been drinking with a friend she did not know her whereabouts?” he posed.
“Eventually, I was discharged and tried to follow the matter with the help of police officers from Lang’ata police station but we made little head-way. The mobile phone number she had given me and the one she had given my friend’s former girlfriend were different and none of them was going through,” he stated.
When contacted, Lang’ata divisional police Chief Patrick Mang’oli said: “I can not remember that specific case unless I ask for its file but then I can for sure tell you that such cases are rampant. We get a lot of complaints from people claiming to have been spiked.”
“I will never forgive her as long as I am alive. She messed me up; I did not even attend the funeral of my step sister Njoki who had died in a road accident. She robbed me and I had to start re-applying for National Identity cards, other ATM cards at the bank where she went and withdrew a total of 24,000 from both accounts. I don’t know what she did to me to get the PIN numbers,” he said, vowing never to drink with strangers.
Mwangi is just an example of the many revelers who have suffered the wrath of drink-spikers.
In our first series of drink-spiking on this web page last week, we told of how the menace has become rampant in popular pubs in Nairobi, mainly targeting the middle-class revelers-both men and women.
In some cases, stories are told of men who were spiked, robbed and left unconscious either on roadsides or in their houses or simply in bars.
There are, however, few cases where deaths have occurred.
‘Drink-spiking’ occurs when a drug is added to one’s drink without their knowledge.
Drug and substance experts told Capital News the drug most likely to be used in spiking is not an illicit substance but simply contains a higher alcohol percentage capable of felling its victim within no time.
It can also result in blackouts, coma or a loss of one’s senses.