• Nominated Senator Esther Okenyuri, who called for the probe, wants lawmakers to investigate drugging of unsuspecting revellers by their would-be lovers in places of entertainment.
Kenyans who have in the past been drugged by 'mchele' gangs have been called upon to share their experiences by the Senate.
Senators have launched a probe to unearth the magnitude of crimes involving drugging of revellers in entertainment spots, especially nightclubs.
Nominated Senator Esther Okenyuri, who called for the probe, wants lawmakers to investigate drugging of unsuspecting revellers by their would-be lovers in places of entertainment.
“State the number of rape cases that have been reported and specifically related to the drugging of the victims, outlining the gender distribution of victims and percentage of the total drugging occurrences that are sexually exploitative,” she stated.
The Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations will conduct the probe.
Spiking of food and drinks with the intent of robbing or otherwise exploiting the victim is not a new crime, but there is an upsurge of such cases across the country.
The drugs are popularly known as "mchele" because they resemble grains of rice. They are also known as "pishori", which is a variety of rice.
Women who engage in the vice have become to be known as "Mama Mchele" and "Pishori Ladies".
Spiking is mostly done by women, but men have also been increasingly engaging in the crime.
Okenyuri wants the committee to establish the major drugs used by the criminals, the number of cases that have been reported to the police and the gender distribution of the victims.
“Map out the hotspots in terms of reported incidents and the approximate monetary value of the entire mchele criminal enterprise in Kenya,” she told the committee.
She said the committee should also give details of the people arrested for spiking revellers' drinks, their gender ratios and any measures the security apparatus has put in place to make the drugs inaccessible to criminals.
“Outline any policy, legislative or capacity gaps the Ministry of Interior might be aware of which might be hindering it from tackling these crimes,” Okenyuri added.
She also wants the committee to establish whether the Ministry has educated and creates awareness to the public on the tell-tale warning signs of a potential drugging encounter or published known hot spots.
Men have been losing the money and women raped at the hands of criminals who prowl entertainment joints and spike their drinks
The drugs come in pill form and can be crushed into powder. People who intend to use the drug on an unsuspecting victim will often place either the pill or powder into a drink because it dissolves quickly and has no smell or taste.
There is no conclusive data on how many cases of spiking occur in Kenya, but the number of reported cases is a very small portion of the actual number of drugging incidents.
As most cases involve sexual escapades, most spiking victims decide not to report the crime for fear of shame and ridicule.
The crime has grown into a syndicate involving rogue pharmacists supplying the stupefying drugs, spotters who identify potential victims at entertainment spots and the agents (mostly women) who execute the operation.
The drugs used by the criminals are mostly sedatives used in medical treatment. The most commonly used spiking drugs include rohypnol, valium and ketamine.
An overdose of the drugs results in slurred speech, inability to concentrate, poor coordination, dizziness, nausea and memory loss.