In Amuru district, Northern Uganda, more than 400 supporters of the English Premier League team Arsenal are dealing with stomach problems. They became unwell after eating a meal that they suspect might have been contaminated with something harmful. This happened on September 23rd, 2023, during a celebration for Arsenal’s victory in the Community Shield in August.
To mark the occasion, the fans collected money and slaughtered a cow for a big meal at Lajalula Trading Centre, Lajalula Parish, Lakang Sub County. However, after the meal, many of them started having severe stomach pains and diarrhea, which caused a lot of worry.
Stephen Ingeyo, one of the affected fans, was surprised to feel sick after the party. He had stomach issues and watery stool. Ingeyo went to a local clinic, as recommended by a health worker, and he still feels weak. Michael Odora, an Arsenal supporter and the Chairperson of the local business community in Lajalula Trading Centre, is also getting treatment for the same problem. He thinks that someone may have intentionally poisoned the food. He mentioned that nearly everyone who ate the meat, including women and children, is suffering from stomach pain and diarrhea.
Francis Odida, the Chairperson of Lajalula Parish, also had stomach problems because of the food. He said that the community had a meeting at Lajalula Trading Centre to find out who might be responsible for the suspected food contamination. Odida noted that there was a lot of foam in the food right after it was cooked, but they didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. He stressed that there haven’t been any deaths reported, but many people are still unwell.
Odida also shared that their investigation pointed to a woman who the community decided to expel because of her questionable actions related to this incident. Reporters tried to contact medical workers for comments on this story, but none of the officials could be reached at the time of reporting.