MPs want shebeens to be controlled

26 Jul 2016 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 26 JUL (NAMPA) – The councillor of the Oshikoto Constituency has called on Namibian leaders to put effective measures in place to address the mushrooming of shebeens in the country.
Lebbius Tobias made the call during the debate on the Liquor Act Amendment Bill, Bill Seven of 2016 in the National Council here Tuesday.
“We as leaders are just talking, saying that shebeens must be removed, but we do not put effective measures in place to remove the shebeens,” he said, adding that the mushrooming of such drinking outlets will only be limited by the passing of effective legislation.
National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) Councillor for Aminuis Constituency Peter Kazongominja suggested an alcohol-free day to be introduced in Namibia, saying people also drink on Sundays, “which is a day to attend church”.
He said shebeens should be placed far away from hospitals, schools and residential areas, noting that alcohol is a big contributing factor to injuries often found on people in hospitals.
“People are stabbing each other, people are causing accidents and cars are overturned because of alcohol, and then they say our hospitals cannot cater for all our people,” noted Kazongominja.
He expressed concern that old people spend their old age pension on alcohol, and further called on Namibians to find other recreational and business activities.
Epukiro Constituency Councillor Cornelius Kanguatjivi, who also spoke in support of the Bill, stressed that while members of the Namibian Police (NamPol) Force are there to protect citizens, they are often guilty of frequenting shebeens in full uniform.
He suggested that licences of shebeens that are in the proximity of schools, hospitals and residential areas should not be renewed.
“Shebeens are a disease to be tackled by all. Mushrooming of shebeens are all over the country and we have to intensify our fight,” said Kanguatjivi.
The Liquor Amendment Bill aims to, among others, amend the Liquor Act, 1998, so as to provide for the issuing of licences to establishments within a prescribed distance in the vicinity of certain areas and the inclusion of residential premises and hospitals, as an additional factor to be taken into account when considering a licence application.
It also seeks to provide for the regulation of selling alcohol at fuel outlets outside the prescribed hours.