Months after the Young Achievers for Development (YAD) petitioned Malawi Parliament to ban production and packaging of liquor in sachets, government has announced it will not allow packaging of liquor in sachets and in quantities lower than the prescribed minimum.
According to government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, this regulation will be published under Section 96 of the Liquor Act as means of enforcing the cabinet decision.
“At its meeting held on 16th February, 2015, Cabinet decided to promulgate regulations under section 96 of the Liquor Act to govern the production, marketing and distribution of liquor.
“The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall work in consultation with Ministries of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Local Government and Rural Development, Health, Labour and Manpower Development, Youth and Sports, Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Home Affairs and Internal Security, Malawi Bureau of Standards and Malawi Revenue Authority in order to enforce compliance,” said Nankhumwa on Tuesday.
YAD petitioned Parliament and asked President Peter Mutharika to use his constitutional powers to ban packaging of spirit liquor in sachets in the country.
According to YAD President Jefferson Milanzie, alcohol is estimated to cause about 20 to 30 percent of oesophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, epileptic seizures and road traffic accidents worldwide.
“In any country where there is heavy alcohol use, whether on occasion or over extended periods, alcohol related problems can be expected.
“A number of conditions have been identified that by definition are caused by alcohol use, such as alcohol psychosis, alcohol dependence syndrome, alcohol abuse, alcohol polyneuropathy, alcohol cardiomyopathy and alcoholic gastritis,” reads the petition in part.
He also claimed that alcohol packaged in sachets is made from cheaper and unproved ingredients.
“We have lost many youths, others can’t perform as human being. As a country we can’t afford to continue burying alive the youthful generation,” said Milanzie.
Meanwhile, YAD is planning to launch what they call ‘Red Card to sachet alcohol campaign’ in malawi.
To YAD members, Malawi is not a dumping site.
There was no immediate reaction from alcohol manufacturers on the matter, but they are on record to have challenged calls to ban production and packaging of liquor in sachets.
They even obtained a court injunction retraining the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) not to take action against them.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :