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New alcohol sanctions win government kudos 

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

THE Alcohol Concern Zambia (ACZ) has hailed Government for the decision taken to ban the illegal selling of alcohol on the open markets and the streets.

Alcohol Concern Zambia Executive Director Dr. Clement Lumuel Sakala said the ban on the illegal selling of alcohol which was announced last Wednesday by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mr Garry Nkombo would reduce the collateral damage that alcohol has on the nation.

Dr Sakala said the illegal selling of alcohol had become a major public health menace in the country as it is now estimated that there is illegal alcohol vending happening within a radius of 50 meters of any human settlement anywhere in Zambia.

He said easy accessibility of alcohol had resulted in an increase in experimentation on alcohol consumption among our youth and many of whom are unwittingly falling victim to alcohol dependency and alcoholism.

“The collateral damage that this is having on the nation is too great to the country, families and society at large. We therefore appreciate and endorse the measures taken by the minister and all stakeholders involved for their collective efforts to improve public safety and encourage responsible alcohol consumption,” Dr Sakala said.

“We believe that this will ultimately promote the well-being of all members of our community and at the same time help many of our young people become socially responsible individuals who can contribute positively to society rather than being a burden,” he said.

Dr. Sakala also serves as Chairperson of Civil Society Organisations represented on the GRZ National Alcohol Policy Multisectoral Coordination and Implementation Committee.

He thanked the church mother bodies and opposition political parties which participated in the deliberations and endorsed the ban of alcohol on open markets during a high-level stakeholder meeting held on Wednesday May 31 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.

Dr Sakala said the meeting attended by Minister of Health Ms Sylvia Masebo showed the willingness by some opposition political parties and the church to work towards the common good and to put aside partisan interests for the benefit of the community.

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