11 January 2013

Zambia: Kitwe Council Move Commendable

NEVER before in the history of this country have we seen such decadence as we are witnessing now where beer of all brands is now being sold openly and drunk anywhere.

We are seeing it being gulped down people's throats in vehicles by drivers while on the wheel, on mini-buses, on the streets, as well as in market places.

Beer consumption is now considered to be a normal undertaking which can be consumed anywhere, anytime.

It is no wonder that night spots dotted around the country are always patronised even by teenagers, some as young as 14, hunting for and actually taking all forms of intoxicants.

Our young ones are growing up seeing people imbibing wherever they are.

Not surprising, they are also forced to take the toxic liquid, even to the point where they get intoxicated.

And as long as such bodies as civil society organisations, the Church and professional bodies that are influential take a lukewarm stance on this matter, which is essentially a growing concern, consequences will be too ghastly to contemplate.

The situation is likely to be worse if all Zambians decide to remain silent about drinking beer anywhere, for this would be construed to be fear to speak up on the consequences of quaffing.

We are, for instance, told that any cure is of no value to the patient when the doctor is afraid to talk to the sick person about the disease.

A doctor in this case is any one opposed to beer drinking.

Our prayer is that all Zambians take courage and lift up their voices like a trumpet, and tell it to all and sundry that beer is a health hazard which should not be taken anywhere, anytime.

In view of this, we salute the Kitwe City Council (KCC) which has taken a bold move to direct traders in the 21 markets under its ambit to stop selling liquor in these places, a by-law that already falls under the Markets and Bus Stations Act Number 7 of 2007.

We further support KCC Town Clerk Bornwell Luanga's warning to those traders who will not comply with this noble directive that they should be heavily penalised.

"We are giving them one week from now to clear off stocks of alcohol," Mr Luanga is quoted in one of the stories we are carrying.

"Failure to stop, our director of legal services will take up the matter to prosecute the offenders because it is a prosecutable offence."

One of the reasons Mr Luanga has given for the ban of alcohol in markets is that it will enable the local authority to prudently manage the affairs of the markets in the interest of all marketeers.

But even more important is his other reason, that alcohol sale in markets contributes to moral decay, and yet the council has a responsibility to help the central Government maintain law and order.

Beer drinking is without doubt evil and those companies involved in this evil but lucrative business very often warn against taking it.

Majority of fatal road traffic accidents have occurred because some one was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Many criminal cases such as fights, use of vulgar language, rape and thefts have all been attributable to alcohol consumption.

Further, beer drinking is basically a sheer waste of financial resources which does not only leave one stone broke but also in debt.

In addition, some people who found themselves committing unusual acts such as bestiality have confessed that they did so out of their drunken state and failed to reason properly.

Yes some people who get drunk do not reason properly and end up not only engaging in crimes but also committing misdemeanors.

These include passing water and defaecating anywhere. In our market places where there are already unhygienic conditions, this serves as a sparkle to various diseases and infections.

We are, therefore, forced to conclude that liquor consumption is an evil habit which must be discouraged by all who want Zambians to enjoy good health. And we agree with one American commentator who once remarked:

"Drinking water neither makes a man sick nor puts him in debt, nor does it make his wife a widow, and yet some men hardly know the flavour of it; but beer guzzled down as it is by many a working man is nothing better than brown ruin."

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