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City students, teachers on school trip arrested with chang’aa

Police have impounded a bus found transporting drunken high school students. The six students from New Mwangaza Mixed Secondary School in Kariobangi, Nairobi, were arrested on Saturday alongside three of their teachers who were accompanying them on a trip to Ol Donyo Sabuk in Machakos County.

The nine were locked up after police found more than 10 litres of chang’aa packed in polythene bags, and a five-litre container and several bottles of wines and spirits inside the hired bus.

The vehicle was seized near Witeithie Estate on the Thika Superhighway. A number of other students were also seen engaging in indecent behaviour aboard the vehicle.

“One of the girls was naked,” said a source who requested to remain anonymous.

The students are said to have been mixing the chang’aa with Malta Guinness, a non-alcoholic drink, in an attempt to conceal the illicit liquor.

Witnesses said the police noticed something fishy going on in the bus as it was heading towards Thika Town and stopped it. Loud music was being played inside, with students dancing and sipping chang’aa.


“The way some of them were dancing and holding each other was unacceptable,” said another witness, who also requested not to be named.

The bus is said to have been carrying excess passengers, a matter that saw the driver and the conductor also taken into police custody.

When they arrived at the Thika Police Station, some students seemed unperturbed and denied having taken alcohol despite smelling of chang’aa and appearing drunken.

“We were heading to Ol Donyo Sabuk on a school trip. Some students who were standing had Malta Guinness. When the police stopped us, they alleged the students were taking alcohol. They also accused the driver of overloading the bus,” said one student who only identified himself as Benson.

He said the police mistook the Malta Guinness drink for alcohol and arrested them.

“The students who were arrested are innocent. The police are alleging that they were taking alcohol but the truth is that they were drinking Malta Guinness, which has no alcohol,” he added.

The police are yet to give an official statement over the issue. They said investigations were still under way.