Thursday, September 21, 2023

BAIA calls for stern measures against delinquent liquor operators

The Botswana Alcohol Industry Association (BAIA) has appealed to government to revoke licenses of liquor operators who violate covid-19 protocols.

BAIA Secretary General Jacob Sesinyi said government should act swiftly by withdrawing liquor licenses of those operating against covid-19 protocols, adding that failure to do so could breed a culture of delinquency in the sector.

He said council bye-law officials are failing to do their job by revoking licenses of delinquent operators, adding that this could come back to bite the sector.

“Government should take the appropriate stern measures against anyone disobeying covid-19 protocols because we do not want an instance where now the industry will suffer at the expense of a selected few,” said Sesinyi.

He also said an unruly behavior displayed by some liquor operators could also dampen the sector’s hope of realizing ease of restrictions within the industry.

“The sad thing about some of these cases is that it is only one people who continue to disobey the set protocols, council bye-law officials know about these people and why they are failing to take action is unknown,” said Sesinyi.

He further said BAIA continues to engage various stakeholders to see how best they can safeguard the industry.

“We often engage various stakeholders, we recently met with both the Minister of Defence, Justice and security and also the Minister of investment, trade and industry because all we want to see is uninterrupted sales of alcohol,” said Sesinyi.

“We are quite worried because people are not doing their job, liquor authority board is failing us because once someone has been changed, and they can withdraw the license the following day,” said Sesinyi.

He also noted that delinquent liquor operators reverse the amount of hard work put in by the sector, stating that they cannot afford further damage after months of dry business.

“It is not only about the liquor industry anymore, it is about the economy, if each one of us cannot play their part, this economy will fall,” added Sesinyi.

He stated that the majority of liquor operators have to be commended for doing a sterling job in ensuring that covid-19 protocols are followed.

On Sunday, BAIA released a statement condemning a disturbing behavior observed in some videos that circulated on social media platforms which were recorded at some restaurants over the weekend.

Government recently lifted ban on the sale of alcohol following the declining number of covid-19 cases.

Government indicated that the ban will be lifted and allowed on a takeaway basis.


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