The steadfast decision by government to outlaw the selling of traditional beer from households as early as July seems almost destined to be met with resistance from both traders and consumers.
Home liquor traders in Chibuku (opaque traditional beer) say the government must be drunk with power to think that it can impose teetotalism (the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages) on its citizenry at the drop of a hat.
At any rate, traders and imbibers are in unison in the view that the move will impoverish those who earn a living through the sale of Chibuku.
To this end, the Botswana National Front in the Gaborone West South constituency intends to hand over a petition to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcus Makgato-Malesu, on the new Liqour Act next week.
“There are no Chibuku depots in Gaborone West South. The Minister says the government is still looking for places where Chibuku traders can sell. We are saying what happens to these people when you implement the Liqour Act while you have not offered them an alternative,” said the BNF Secretary for Gaborone West South, Sergeant Kgosietsile.
The BNF Gaborone West South constituents are to march to parliament to urge the government to retract the Liquor Act.
“The alcohol business in the homesteads is largely owned by the poor, most of whom are females. By selling liquor at their homes, these people are able to provide for most of their family needs such as housing, food, water, electricity,” says a statement from the BNF.
The BNF says the Liqour Act will only serve to limit competition and shut out small competitors to ensure the concentration of wealth is in the hands of the few companies.
Botsalo Ntuane, the Member of Parliament for the area, who is also Leader of Opposition, has also asked for the scrapping of the imminent traditional beer regulations.