Zimbabwe – ARVs’: A ‘superior’ catalyst for Kachasu brewing

By Alan Rushesha – Kachasu brewers in the country are reportedly to have joined the bandwagon of using ARVs in the fermentation of the illegal brew, the Shout-Africa.com has learnt.

THAILAND-DRUGSIt is believed the routine originated in Malawi where the drug has been resorted to illegal activities.

A Malawian brewer said in an exclusive interview with the Malawi News, that Kachasu fermented by ARVs is stronger and matures quickly (in 24 hours) with less sugar, being required and brewers benefit a higher turnover.

A study conducted by a Malawian doctor Mary Shawa figured out that the addition of ARVs during the fermentation stage can hasten up the process of brewing Kachasu.

In a desperate measure to rupture the shackles of poverty, some relocated peasant farmers are allegedly to have joined the ‘alien’ style.

The use of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) in speeding up the fermentation process of Kachasu- an illicit alcoholic substance and ‘fattening’ up chickens has become a topical issue in commuter-omnibuses and funeral gatherings but no one has a clue on how and where is the illegal act being done.

Investigations by this reporter indicate that ‘new methodology’ of brewing Kachasu crossed the Nyasaland borders but is to be unearthed.

One could most- likely call the development an ‘African Science’. Whether the aftermath will harm or help the society is another question.

Rumors are rife that the lifesaver drug’s use is erroneous and for one this could be a myth far from reality.

The Shout-Africa.com recently visited Kimcote Farm situated along Beatrice road and hooked up with a self-confessed Kachasu brewer Peter Geri, 51 (not her real name) who confirmed the use of ARVs in the process.

He exhibits his rusty-brown teeth for everyone to see as he confidently smiles whilst rolling a cigarette of unprocessed tobacco and said:

 “My son, what do you think is behind the heavily-built bodies of people these days?

“I heard the gossip but I am yet to come across with its use, maybe it is because most of us don’t have the knowhow since I heard that it’s common in Lilongwe,” Geri said.

He also said that he has been supplying the illicit beverage to St Marys in Chitungwiza were Kachasu drinking is soaring.

Another Kachasu brewer in the same locality declined to shed light on the development fearing legal action.

“Why can’t you brew your own Kachasu mixed with ARVs other than spending a lot of time sniffing in other people’s business?” she questioned.

Preferred by inexperienced laborers and the aged, Kachasu drinking has become a common place in farms, rural, urban- although it is outwitted by the Maputo exports-ZED or Double Punch.

 Shockingly, health organizations recently pointed towards shortage of the drug in the country.

It is projected that 1.2 million people are living with HIV in Zimbabwe and 600 000 are in urgent require of ARVs with less than half of them receiving drugs, on the government initiated programme.