Ban on al­co­hol sale im­mi­nent

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Harare Bu­reau

GOVERN­MENT has re­vived its bid to reg­u­late con­sump­tion of al­co­hol with a Cabi­net com­mit­tee re­cently ap­prov­ing a draft pol­icy out­law­ing sale of al­co­holic prod­ucts dur­ing cer­tain days, hours and to preg­nant women.

It has been gath­ered that the Na­tional Al­co­hol Pol­icy has since re­ceived bless­ings from var­i­ous line min­istries and is set to be tabled in Cabi­net any­time soon.

The push to en­force a host of re­stric­tions on the sale and con­sump­tion of al­co­hol fol­lows Govern­ment’s con­cern over in­creas­ing cases of abuse of the prod­uct coun­try­wide.

The pol­icy is a brain­child of for­mer Health Min­is­ter Dr Ti­mothy Stamps, who is now health ad­vi­sor in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net.

Dr Stamps ar­gued the pol­icy is the right path­way in main­tain­ing good health as well as pro­tect­ing peo­ple against al­co­hol abuse.

Health and Child Care sec­re­tary Re­tired Bri­gadier Gen­eral Dr Ger­ald Gwinji said the pro­posed new rules are sim­i­lar to those first mooted in 2010.

“We took the pro­posed new pol­icy to the work­ing party which com­prises of­fi­cials from var­i­ous min­istries and it passed,” he said.

“It also went to the Cabi­net Com­mit­tee on So­cial Ser­vices and Poverty Erad­i­ca­tion and it went through. It now awaits to go to the Cabi­net.

“The cur­rent one is a re­vised ver­sion of the 2010 draft af­ter re­al­is­ing that the ini­tial one had gaps.

“The pol­icy is con­cerned with im­part­ing be­hav­iour change.

“Poli­cies are there to give guid­ance to the gen­eral pop­u­lace and var­i­ous stake­hold­ers. The re­duc­tion of al­co­hol abuse can be done partly through the law but the rest will be through moral sua­sion.”

Our Harare Bu­reau un­der­stands that the pol­icy pro­poses to bar the sale of al­co­hol dur­ing the week, reg­u­late the num­ber of hours to sell the prod­ucts and pro­vide guide­lines on the con­sump­tion of al­co­hol dur­ing spe­cial events like par­ties and wed­dings on the ba­sis of the venue in which they are held.

In­for­ma­tion shows that mo­tor ve­hi­cle driv­ers found with a blood al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion of above 0,08 per 100ml of blood face ar­rest and those found sell­ing the prod­uct to preg­nant women will also be ar­rested.

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