Police have summoned several bar owners who operate in Maganjo Zone, Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District following reports that 11 people have died after consuming a locally brewed gin in the area, in the last two weeks.
Mr Emilian Kayima, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson said some bar owners have been interrogated to establish whether the victims were killed by alcohol sold in their joints as residents claim.
“The locals insist all the people died after taking local alcohol from these particular bars. We have arrested one bar operator and others are being interrogated to establish the truth behind these deaths,” Mr Kayima said.
Mr Kayima said the locals claim their relatives would develop mysterious complications like dizziness, vomiting and partial blindness before dying in a short time.
“We suspect the alcohol could be poisonous like what happened in Kenya some year ago. We have ordered bars to stop selling locally made alcohol in the meantime as we investigate the matter,” Mr Kayima said.
In 2014, at least 50 people in Kenya died after drinking illicit liquor and dozens were hospitalised and several went blind. Television footage showed victims writhing in pain in hospitals in the eastern and central counties of Embu, Kitui and Kiambu.
Mr Kayima said some alcohol samples have been picked from different bars and are being examined at the Government Analytical Laboratory in Wandegeya, Kampala.
According to a 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO)) report, alcohol consumption was responsible for 3.3 million deaths worldwide.
Harmful alcohol use not only leads to addiction, but it can put people at a higher risk of over 200 disorders like tuberculosis and pneumonia, according to the report. The statistics translated into one death every 10 seconds.
On average, every person in the world aged 15 and older drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol a year.
The WHO reports shows that 16 per cent of drinkers partake in spree drinking which is the most dangerous form of alcohol consumption.
Europe has the highest alcohol consumption per capita although consumption levels have been stable there for the last five years.