Fiji Sun

Plea for ban on homebrew

- NACANIELI TUILEVUKA Edited by Epineri Vula Feedback:

Youths and chiefs of Somosomo Village in Taveuni have called on Police and Government to ban the consumptio­n of homebrew in villages.

The call comes after 34-year-old Adi Ema Bale was allegedly stabbed to death last Sunday at her home at Dreketi Village, Somosomo, on Taveuni.

Somosomo Youth Club member Melania Baleilekut­u pleaded with the authoritie­s to take action on consumptio­n and production of homebrew in villages, saying nothing had been done to address the issue.

Ms Baleilekut­u said villagers were still in shock after the death of the housewife because it was understood that the suspect was drinking homebrew before the incident.

“Drinking is a serious issue in the village. This is not a joke and it seriously needs to be addressed by Police and Government,” she said. “Homemade brew in the village is known as small money and big mateni (intoxicati­on). “Otherwise, we will continue to have horrific incidents claiming innocent lives,” Ms Baleilekut­u said. Somosomo chief Ratu Jekesoni Yavalavanu­a said traditiona­l leaders needed to make a stand and abolish the consumptio­n of illicit alcohol in villages and homes. “Villagers and communitie­s need to work together to stop these illicit activities from happening in their community. It is a taboo and it does it cause instabilit­y in society,” he said.

Police Divisional Commander Senior Superinten­dent of Police Eparama Waqa said brewing, drinking and selling homebrew was illegal.

“Under the Penal Code, it is illegal to manufactur­e, consume or sell homebrew. Those found guilty face six months in jail or a fine of $1000,” SSP Waqa said.

He said Vanua Levu was a hotspot for homebrew and some Labasa market vendors had been charged with selling homebrew. Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana said the ministry was determined to find ways to assist youths in this respect. “This is why we have talanoa sessions regularly with young people, to hear from them directly of what they are thinking, their hopes, aspiration­s and how they could be helped,” Mr Delana said. Meanwhile, Police spokespers­on Ana Naisoro said the investigat­ion into the death was continuing. “The post mortem examinatio­n has been conducted and the suspect remains in custody,” she said.

 ?? DEAD .... ?? Adi Ema Bale.
DEAD .... Adi Ema Bale.
 ??  ?? Police Divisional Commander Senior Superinten­dent of Police Eparama Waqa.
Police Divisional Commander Senior Superinten­dent of Police Eparama Waqa.

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