Parliament escalates anti-drugs, substance abuse debate; spotlights toxic liquor with 90% alcohol content brewed, consumed in communities 

Spread This News

By Anna Chibamu

LEGISLATORS have raised a red flag on reports that some individuals and companies are brewing liquor with toxic substances that are harmful to the human body.

This comes as the issue of drug and substance abuse has taken centre stage in the country with both the young and adult population being affected.

During a Question-and-Answer session in Parliament last Wednesday, MPs queried how government was dealing with the scourge of drugs and substance abuse.

MP Perseverance Zhou alluded to the fact that the said toxic substances and drinks were being sold at a low cost, alleging some registered local companies were manufacturing these substances.

“What does the law say and how can we strengthen that law in connection with those abusing drugs and toxic drinks?

“Most of these drinks are being sold at reduced prices and are being manufactured by companies based here in Zimbabwe that have licences to distribute such items.

“I want to refrain from naming the products and the companies, but from the farming community where I stay, there are those toxic beers which are manufactured; where you see some artisanal miners just pass out after taking the substance,” Zhou said.

He added, “These types of beers are being sold for US$1 and they are toxic to human beings. So how can the government strengthen the law?”

Leader of government business in Parliament, Ziyambi Ziyambi said his administration has inspectors responsible for monitoring shops or areas where they trade such liquors.

“They monitor to see if they are licenced. We have a committee which was put in place by His Excellency the President, which is being led by the minister of Defence (Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri), to critically analyse those types of liquor whether they are harmful for humans to consume,” Ziyambi said.

Another MP from Manicaland, Prosper Mutseyami informed the House that on the issue pertaining to such harmful liquor manufacturing, ethanol was being blended.

“During the production of ethanol meant for fuel, you find people taking this substance and using it to manufacture beer. The type of beer which is being manufactured has an alcohol percentage which is more than 90%.

“What should be done to curb the incidences of diverting ethanol to beer brewing in areas like Chisumbanje and Triangle?” Mutseyami asked.

Ziyambi said a lot was being done to reduce the consumption of such harmful substances by citizens, urging the public  to report to police suspected cases of those selling obnoxious products.

“For the past three weeks, government has been putting in place modalities on how to constitute an agency to look into all matters and how the public can reduce the consumption of these substances,” Ziyambi said.