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Mozambique: Poisoned local brew kills four

Police in Mozambique say at least four people have died in the country’s northern province of Niassa, after consuming a home-brewed alcoholic drink known as “catcholima”.Private television station STv on Saturday quoted the Niassa Provincial Police Command, Alves Mathe as saying it was a case of alcoholic poisoning.

“We became aware of the case after we were told there were three bodies in one of the houses where local people habitually gather to consume home-made drinks”, he said.

According to the police, three bodies, two men and a woman, were found in the house in Chivigo village, in Lichinga district.

A fourth victim was found in a house in Sanjala neighbourhood in the provincial capital, Lichinga city but it was not clear whether he had consumed the drink at the same time as the other three.

Mathe said preliminary medical examinations concluded that the victims died from consuming poisoned “catcholima” and made it clear there is no suggestion that the poisoning was deliberate.

According to Mathe, the police have collected what remains of the drink for laboratory examination.

The Ministry of Health has expressed concern at the dangerously unhygienic conditions under which traditional drinks are brewed.

Tragedy struck in 2015 at Chitima, in Tete province, where 75 people died after drinking a home-made brew called “pombe”.

Published on 28.04.2020

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