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KENYA AND THE ‘DATE RAPE’ DRUGS

Date Rape

Emma ‘Mwangi’ a 21 year old college girl woke up in a strange room. As Emma came to she realised she was in a guest house and that she had been sexually assaulted.  A 1,000 Shilling note lay beside the bed accompanied by a brief note: “you can use that for your transport”. At this point she tried so hard to remember the last night’s event, but in vain. The only thing she could remember was shaking hands with some guy on her way to the bathrooms in the club she was partying at. How she got in the room and with who was a mystery to her.

Emma’s case is not isolated and there are scores of other people who have been drugged, then sexually abused or robbed off their valuables.  Criminals will mostly spike a victim’s drink or in some cases use substances that involve body contact.

IT’S NOT JUST WOMEN – “SHE EVEN CARRIED OFF THE FLOUR AND THE RICE”

It’s not only women who have been targeted but men as well.

Even men are affected

Barry ‘Kiprono’ was drugged by a gorgeous woman he had met in a popular joint in Buruburu estate. He unconsciously led the woman to his home in Embakasi estate later on, whereupon she took everything from his house that was not screwed down! “This particular one was really starved, she even carried off all the flour and rice in the kitchen”, he says regrettably, acknowledging that he was solely to blame for being careless.

‘CHIPS FUNGA’

According to the Kenyan police, drugging became rampant by 2009 and the problem has increased, especially with the popular Nairobi clubbing trend ‘chips Funga’, a term used to refer to a common trend among the Kenyan youth where men hook up with women they’ve just met in clubs, surreptitiously slip a drug into their drink and carry them home for a one night stand.

Doctors have acknowledged that most of the substances used to drug people are medically admissible drugs, mostly used in surgical theatres. These include Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Benzodiazepine and Scopolamine among others. It’s said that Scopolamine can be administered through body contact hence people have been cautioned against shaking hands with strangers.

BE WARY…

How to spot Rohypnol

Although this Forum correspondent sympathises with some of these victims, especially the ones drugged on the streets by people masquerading as preachers, or pretending to be looking for directions, the truth is most of these incidents befall people due to their ignorance and carelessness.

What’s the Forum’s advice? Use some commonsense and perhaps before you shake that stranger’s hand, think twice. Bear in mind as well that ‘all that glitters is not gold’, so be weary of that gorgeous man or woman trying to vibe you in your favourite joint!

Some useful websites with information and advice on ‘date-rape’ drugs:

‘Facts about date-rape drugs’

‘Date-rape drugs explained and de-mystified’

‘InfoFacts: Club drugs’

And some good advice on Kenyalist.com: ‘Date-rape drug in Nairobi – Drink spiking beware!’

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