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Zambians can only develop the country when they are sober, says Chikoti

CHIPATA town clerk Vivian Chikoti says Zambians can only develop the country when they are sober. And Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance Zambia Eastern Province network chairperson Queen Mbao says government’s implementation of the alcohol policy has come at a better time.

Addressing Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) Eastern Province network members who yesterday held a solidarity walk from Shoprite to Chipata council chamber in support of government’s approval and successful implementation of national alcohol policy, Chikoti said even in the old days people had time for leisure and time to work.

She said alcohol had a lot of repercussions on the people. She also narrated a story where she saw a pregnant woman who was also drunk.

“So this is what we are doing to ourselves, I think we need to feel sorry for ourselves and go back to our generations backwards when the old people had a time for leisure and had a time to work. We need to develop this country and we can only do it soberly,” Chikoti said.

She said the council would work with SAAPA in ensuring that the national alcohol policy was implemented.

“Indeed there are so many negative things (that come from beer). At times when you walk around you just see people the way they are staggering, look at their age. You know these are young lives because if they are staggering, they drink the whole night,” Chikoti said. Council’s director of public health Constance Mulenga-Chirwa said the local authority faces some difficulties when it comes to regulating bars because some times the patrons threaten to destroy their vehicles.

Mulenga-Chirwa said they were grateful to SAAPA for supporting the alcohol policy. Earlier, Mbao said alcohol was responsible for many deaths worldwide. She said there was a strong relationship between alcohol and domestic abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Mbao said alcohol use could have a range of negative consequences on people other than the alcohol consumer.
Mbao appealed to President Edgar Lungu and the first Lady to help SAAPA Zambia with a vehicle to ease transport challenges.
SAAPA Zambia Eastern network vice-chairperson David Lungu said it was good that his organisation had achieved what it had been fighting for.

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