By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), an opposition party, has written to the government to reconsider a total ban on the sale of alcohol in the country during the Covid-19 lockdown in order to reduce cases of alcohol-related domestic violence.
Last month, the government relaxed the sale of alcohol in supermarkets and other beer outlets, a move that was roundly welcomed by imbibers.
However, in a letter addressed to Minister of Information Monica Mutsvangwa on Tuesday, ZimPF national spokesperson, Stephen Mazanza appealed to the government to ban the sale of alcohol, in particular spirits.
“It will lead to lower rates of drinking among men and reduce cases of alcohol-related domestic violence cases,” Mazanza wrote.
“ZimPF suspects that more than 60% of all spirits being consumed in Zimbabwe are being produced by dangerous mafia groups masquerading as legitimate companies and Zimbabwe is sitting on a time bomb from these unregistered companies.”
He said alcohol and cigarettes affected one’s immune system and increased the risk of adverse health outcomes.
“Therefore, the government should temporarily ban the consumption of alcohol at any time, and particularly during this Covid-19 pandemic.
“Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that’s associated with mental disorders, people at risk or who have an alcohol-use disorder, are particularly vulnerable, especially when in self-isolation,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to announce new Covid-19 restrictions as Zimbabwe’s confirmed cases continue to rise daily.
Meanwhile, Mazanza said ZimPF was also proposing that the government made mandatory for every family to undertake a three-day per week exercise regime in order to maintain physical resilience during the current Covid-19 lockdown.
In neighbouring South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa this week introduced new restrictions, including another ban on the sale of alcohol, to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
However, the ban of alcohol in that country has been received with mixed reactions of anger and support.