HUYE - Over 30 people have been arrested and detained at Ngoma Police Station in Huye District over alleged brewing of banned liquors locally known as Nyirantare and Ibikwangari.
The suspects were arrested Wednesday morning during a security swoop in Cyarwa, Gahenerezo and Rwabuye business centres.
Speaking to The New Times, some of the suspects confessed to the crime while others denied any involvement.
Jacques Nizigiyimana, one of the suspects denied brewing the liquor even when he was found with a jerry can of Nyirantare.
Francine Mukangango, another suspect said, “I had banana beer [urwagwa] which was mistaken for Nyirantare. I have never brewed neither sold such a drink.”
Authorities say the local gin has been the cause of insecurity in the district and have put many lives in danger.
Huye district Mayor, Francois Uhagaze, noted that such drinks have caused serious health complications to its consumers because of how it is brewed.
“That liquor is made out of sugar, fertilizers, bricks, yeast and other dangerous substances,” Uhagaze said.
“When people consume such products, they become addicted. I think this could be the reason there are many people with mental disabilities in this town. Some have serious psychological problems but others seem to suffer the effects of those drinks.”
He explained that it has been difficult to control its production because it’s a lucrative business.
“It is cheap and on high demand making it difficult for people to abandon the trade. But the ban will be enforced with more vigilance,” he warned.
In a security meeting last year, provincial authorities cited local brews; Nyirantare, ibikwangari and Muriture as the main causes of violence and gender related crimes in the area.