NGOMA- One person died while scores were admitted at Kibungo Hospital, after they drank what is suspected to have been poisoned local beer at a wedding party, last Saturday.
The incident happened in Zaza sector in Ngoma District, at a wedding ceremony for Immaculee Musabyimana and Théoneste Gasasira.
The party turned into a tragedy when people started to complain of stomach pains, shortly after feasting and drinking, as the couple prepared to finalise their marriage vows.
“It is highly suspected that someone poisoned the drinks out of malice. Each and every person who had drinks including the bride and groom were affected and were admitted,” Jean Pierre Mugabo, one of the guests said.
The Sector Executive Secretary, Laurent Muvandimwe, confirmed the incidence, saying that those who were affected were drawn from different sectors of the district.
“So many people had gathered at the wedding, they obviously took some drinks and they have since developed similar symptoms. We were indeed overwhelmed by the numbers of those complaining, but tried our best to rush them to the hospital,” he said.
When The New Times visited the hospital this week, scores of the victims were still admitted, but some complained that they preferred traditional modes of treatment.
“This is a spell through use of witch craft which has visited us. It would be wise if we used a similar counter measure,” one of the patients said.
Medics said they suspect food poisoning, but results of tests are yet to come out.
The health workers revealed that the patients who were admitted were indeed reluctant to be offered medication which they termed as modern and hence inappropriate for their case.
“These people surprised us because they preferred traditional medicine over our conventional medical treatment. We could only treat those who accepted, the rest opted for traditional treatment,” said one of the medics.
Ngoma is one of the districts in the Eastern Province, where belief in witchcraft is deeply rooted.
Sources within security organs in the district said they have launched a hunt for those suspected to be behind the tragedy.