SI on alcohol is still weak

ZAMBIA Network Against the Harmful use of Alcohol (ZNAHA) says the current Statutory Instrument (SI) on alcohol trading hours is weak and needs further revision. According to ZNAHA spokesperson Jonas Ngulube, the SI is not strong enough to protect citizens from alcohol abuse. The new SI No 64 signed by Minister of Local Government and Housing Emerine Kabanshi on September 25, 2012, states that the permitted hours of trading for bars and bottle stores is from 10:00 hours to 22:00 hours.

According to the ZAMBIA Network Against the Harmful use of Alcohol (ZNAHA), the SI is not strong enough to protect citizens from alcohol abuse ZAMBIA Network Against the Harmful use of Alcohol (ZNAHA) says the current Statutory Instrument (SI) on alcohol trading hours is weak and needs further revision.

According to ZNAHA spokesperson Jonas Ngulube, the SI is not strong enough to protect citizens from alcohol abuse.

The new SI No 64 signed by Minister of Local Government and Housing Emerine Kabanshi on September 25, 2012, states that the permitted hours of trading for bars and bottle stores is from 10:00 hours to 22:00 hours.

Nightclubs are permitted to operate from 10:00 hours to 24:00 hours while wholesale liquor dealers are permitted to operate from 08:00 hours to18:00 hours.

Speaking at a press briefing, Ngulube noted that alcohol was still being abused extensively, hence the need for further restriction on trading hours.

He added that there was need for more taxation policies on alcohol to stop it from being easily accessible.

"SI No 64 is not strong enough to protect citizens from alcohol abuse. Thus further restriction of tarding hours will stop people from drinking. We  also need more taxation on alcohol," Ngulube said.

He noted that Councils need to limit the number of licences they give out and licensing committees also need to carry out necessary surveys before issuing licences to traders.

"It is amazing how some of these people have liquor licences. Surely how can they give a license to some one who wants to open a bottle store near a school? Its not right", Ngulube said.

And speaking at the same press briefing, ZNAHA Chairperson, Kaluba Moloka, said Zambia does not have a National Alcohol Policy in place. 

She therefore urged government to finalise the draft National Alcohol Policy, which is currently under review, by January 2013.

Moloka commended the various Civil Society Organisations who have come together to fight alcohol abuse in the country and proposed that a trust fund to be set up to help them sensitize the community on alcohol abuse.

According to the new Statutory Instrument No 64 signed by Minister of Local Government and Housing Emerine Kabanshi on September 25, 2012, permitted hours for bars and bottle stores is from 10:00 hours to 22:00 hours. Nightclubs are permitted to operate from 10:00 hours to 24:00 hours while wholesale liquor dealers are permitted to operate from 08:00 hours to18:00 hours.

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