Zambian Breweries (ZB) has called for an urgent clampdown on the consumption of illegal alcoholic beverages in the country.
This follows the widespread reports of of illegal alcoholic beverage consumption in different parts of Zambia amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zambia Breweries country Director Jona Moran said they are calling for the immediate end of production , sale and consumption of illegal alcohol beverages such as junta , kachasu and tujilijili .
Illicit alcohol is not only harmful to health , but also constraints Zambia’s wealth creation and there is need to differentiate between unregulated illegal brews and the highly regulated and quality controlled alcohol beverages,Mr. Moran said.
Mr. Moran added that the illicit alcohol produced in unhygienic and uncontrolled environments poses a huge threat to the health of consumers.
He noted that the illegal alcohol dealers do not remit taxes to the government thereby denying the country the much needed economic development.
Mr. Moran further disclosed that the study by Euro monitor international of 2018 showed that government across 20 countries lost close to US$4 Billion per year due to illicit alcohol.
“It makes sad reading to note that Zambia is among the 20 countries studied by the London based research institution , we cannot go on and losing revenue to illicit alcohol like this the time to save people and our economy from stings of this illegal business is now,” Mr.Moran said.
He said that Zambia ranks second at 69.5 % after Mozambique at 73% while Uganda ranks thirds with 63.3% according to the Euromonitor international.
Mr. Moran since urged the brewering companies to remain committed to sensitizing the public on the dangers of illicit alcohol through a programme called smart drinking.