Tue 16, May 2023
Police in Napak district in Karamoja sub region have impounded government vehicle registration Number UG 2524 A Toyota Hillux pickup, grey in colour belonging to the ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries carrying 16 jerrycans of illicit Waragi.
The vehicle which was driven by one male adult identified as Robert Wawomula was impounded on Monday 15th May 2023 evening with 16 jerrycans of illicit waragi by the Anti stock Theft Unit (ASTU) personnel manning Kokeris checkpoint along Soroti- Moroto road.
Michael Longole the Mt. Moroto police spokesperson confirmed the impoundment of the vehicle at Moroto central police station saying the two occupants, the driver Robert Wawomula and Lazarus Erutu have been detained at Moroto Central Police station to help police in further investigation.
According to Longole, the police officers at the checkpoint were prompted to stop the vehicle for thorough checking after seeing it being covered by a tarpaulin. He added that although the officers manning checkpoints have not been so keen on government vehicles, it has come to their attention that government vehicles are also been used in transporting illicit waragi.
Longole added that police condemn the misuse of government cars adding that their operation will not spare anyone found going against the law. According to Dr Pierluigi Rossaningo, the health officer of Moroto Diocese waragi or distilled alcohol contains poison.
He said they had a chance to take a sample to the laboratory and discovered that the percentage was more than 65 percent, equating it to a disinfectant due to the high alcohol because it is distilled without proper methods.
“Lab test results showed that it actually has methanol which is a poison that can cause permanent blindness. We have had experience of people who have died due to uncontrolled consumption of this gin,” Dr. Rossaningo told reporters last year.
Excessive consumption of waragi also causes cirrhosis of the liver, inflammation of the nerves, and lack of mental control, which has led in many cases to insanity, malnutrition, blindness, muscular weakness and wasting, homicidal impulses and death.
Karamoja’s average alcohol consumption stands at a staggering 48 liters per capita compared to the national average which is at about 18 liters per capita. As much as it’s reported that the country registered a decline in these figures, it is still among those with the highest annual consumption per capita in Africa.