Swaziland Authorities Ban March to Protest Ban On Alcohol During Coronavirus Crisis

Beer alcohol drinking

A planned march in Swaziland (eSwatini) to protest the ban of manufacture and sales of alcohol during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was banned by police and the local municipal authority.

The march through the capital city Mbabane to deliver petitions to the Swazi Prime Minister, the South Africa High Commission and the European Union Commission was called off at the last minute on Friday (18 September 2020).

It had been organised by the Swaziland National Liquor Association (SNLA). The sale of alcohol is banned in the kingdom which went into partial lockdown in March to try to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Much of the lockdown has been eased but the alcohol ban remains.

SNLA said the ban had badly hit the alcohol industry with job losses and the future of some businesses was in jeopardy.

SNLA was told it had not submitted on time a request to march. Public protests are severely restricted in Swaziland which is ruled by King Mswati III as an absolute monarch.

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