Rumphi — Senior Chief Mwankhunikira of Rumphi District has asked government to ban taking of beer and other alcoholic substances during morning hours saying the practice has negative impact on productivity.
Mwankhunikira made the call Wednesday during a Rumphi Police Station Executive Committee (SEC) meeting.
He said the country needs to learn from neighbouring Tanzania where drinking joints are not allowed to operate during morning hours.
"As a nation, let's borrow a leaf from Tanzania where drinking during morning hours is outlawed.
"The culture of drinking during morning hours is killing our nation. Those involved are not working and cannot farm to bring income to their households," the senior chief said.
He added that drinking beer during morning hours promotes crime.
"Where do you think someone who drinks all day gets money to sustain his drinking penchant? It means at certain point they have to resort to crime to source money," said the outspoken chief.
Mwankhunikira further said apart from causing traffic accidents, alcohol abuse has heightened poverty levels in the communities and caused unnecessary deaths.
"Those who drink beer during morning hours do not only fail to take care of their families but also die from preventable deaths," he said.
In response, Rumphi Police Officer-In-Charge, Senior Assistant Commissioner Denis Banda advised the chief to take up the matter with Member of Parliament (MP) for his area.
"The laws we have are silent on regulating beer drinking during morning hours. If you feel that there is need for such a regulation, take up the issue with your MP to present it in the august house," Banda advised.
The chief's plea was a reaction to Banda's remarks that although the district has managed to reduce road accidents by 10 percent from January to June this year, a lot needed to be done.
"Last year, between January and June, we registered 20 road accidents while this year we have registered 18 during the same period," Senior Assistant Commissioner Banda said.
He attributed most of the road accidents to drunkenness.
"On many occasions, we have seen some individuals high on beer walking on the middle of the road or come across drunkards literary sleeping close to the tarmac, especially between Jombo and Chitimba," Banda said.