Zimbabwe mulls restricting alcohol sales to curb abuse

The Government of Zimbabwe is considering restricting the sale of alcohol to certain days, hours and to pregnant women.

The Sunday Mail, a Zimbabwe newspaper reported that the policy proposes to bar the sale of alcohol during the week, regulate the number of hours to sell the products and provide guidelines on the consumption of alcohol during special events like parties and weddings on the basis of the venue in which they are held.

The policy also proposes to prosecute vehicle drivers found with blood alcohol concentration of above 0.08 per 100ml and merchants found selling the product to pregnant women.

The initiative also proposes that any alcohol advertisement should be done not less than 100 metres from a road intersection, school, clinic, hospital, church and old people’s homes.

The push to curb alcohol sales follows the government’s concern over increasing cases of alcohol abuse.

The initiative is the brainchild of former Health Minister, Dr. Timothy Stamps who is now Health Advisor in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

The proposal will have to get the approval of the cabinet to become law.

Dr. Stamps said that the new policy which is a revised version of a 2010 draft is meant to bring about behavior change.

“Policies are there to give guidance to the general populace and various stakeholders. The reduction of alcohol abuse can be done partly through the law but the rest will be through moral suasion,” he said.

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