Fight against sachets needs holistic approach – Activists

Parents and guardians will now breathe a sigh of relief as the High Court rules in favour of Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), allowing them to implement a ban against the selling of sachet liquour.

Making the ruling at the High Court,  Judge McLean Kamwambe said the decision has been made to put right the legal irregularities that have been there over the years. Malawi Distilleries Limitied, manufacturers of Premier Brandy and Powers No. 1, have since obtained a stay order on the implementation of the ban.

In a similar development, the Cabinet has also made a decision to ban liquor sachets. According to Government’s spokesperson, Kondwani Nankhumwa, the ban has been effected ‘to safe guard the lives and development of the population, especially the young generation’.

Government’s ban has been done regardless of the court case.

Meanwhile, activists across the country have expressed their appreciation on Government’s decision as well as the ruling in the MBS case.

However, they say there is need for a holistic approah to ensure enforcement is done and sustained.

President of Young Achievers in Development (YAD) Jefferson Milanzie said Government’s announcement is not the end of the fight against sachets. He said there is need for the National Assembly to proceed with making policies and by-laws to ensure there is compliance and the impact of the ban is felt.

Concurring with the sentiments, Drug Fight Malawi executive director, Nelson Zakeyu said there is still a long way to go in ensuring the fight against the sachets bears fruit. He has since made a plea to government to adopt a National Alcohol Policy, which is currently in draft form, to ultimately deal with drug abuse in the country and safeguard the lives of school-going children, who have negatively been affected.

He told a local media house that one of the proposals in the draft policy document is for the total ban of liquor sachets which government has now considered to implement

NzN

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