Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Alcohol industry defends #dinweledladleng campaign

Botswana Alcohol Industry Association says their newest campaign #dinweledladleng is in no way promoting irresponsible alcohol consumption and reckless behaviour at home.

Speaking at a stakeholder engagement recently, Botswana Alcohol Industry Association Head of Secretariat Jacob Sesinyi highlighted that theirs was not a campaign to promote alcohol in front of minors, reckless behaviour or contribute to already escalating cases of Gender based violence, but a campaign to minimise the spread of Coronavirus due to people having social gatherings.

When explaining the campaign, Sesinyi said: “Our main point of interest is to help government fight Corona virus and we have been doing this in different ways. One such way is having discussions with government departments such as trade to see ways in which alcohol could be sold without contributing to Corona virus spread and also the Botswana Police Service to see ways in which we could penalise those who break the law.”

“Also to ensure the consumer is part of the fight against the spread of Corona virus. In Setswana we are used to gathering when we drink and also when we go out to party. It is a behaviour we need to take people out of as the times we are in does not allow for such gatherings and also we want to ensure we are united with alcohol sellers so that they observe the health protocols that have been put forward,” Sesinyi said.

Past cases of a few people not adhering to Covid-19 precautions and safety measures costed the alcohol industry as whole as everybody ceased operations and there was no business being made. This then prompted the Association to partner with government and start advocating for a change in behaviour from industry stakeholders as a whole.

Sesinyi said: “We even came with the Minister of Investment trade and Industry Peggy Serame, to officially launch the #dinweledladleng campaign. The main issue here is to consume at home and we did this knowing some people still gather at some carwashes and consume alcohol and that is worrisome. However, most bottle stores and wholesalers have not broken social distancing protocols and safety measures, it’s only a few here and there. This is concerning because when these few law breakers make these mistakes it is everybody who suffers as government cease operations for everybody,” Sesinyi continued.

Furthermore, the ceased operations that take place within the industry do not only affect manufacturers and sellers but everybody as a whole because the alcohol industry is a source of employment for some.

Sesinyi said: “The issue of forced locked down in the Alcohol industry does not only affect manufacturers, traders and consumers but the government as well in the form of no taxes and levies being collected. So, the important thing here to remember as Batswana is that the Covid-19 pandemic is there and people need to take care of themselves and their families and the only way to do that is to take care of yourself.”

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.