UGANDA: GULU LOCAL GOVERNMENT SPEARHEADS MOVE TO CURB ALCOHOLISM IN UGANDA

 

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Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, the local government chairman of Gulu, signing into law an ordinance on alcoholism.

 

“I am here to address the people of Gulu on an important subject, about a law that is coming into force soon to curb the sale, production and consumption of alcohol. As you are aware, we are struggling with a number of challenges. Northern Uganda is leading in the country in the sale, production and consumption of alcoholic products, especially waragi packed in sachets which are causing a lot of problems to the community. Northern Uganda is leading in alcohol consumption in Uganda”- Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, Gulu district Local government.

 

GULU-UGANDA: In what may spread like bush fire throughout Uganda, Gulu district local government chairman, Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, has signed into law the Gulu District Alcoholic Drink Control Ordinance 2016 which is designed to curb the sale, production and consumption of alcohol, an ordinance which he intends to market to other districts in the neighborhood and later throughout the country.

“I am here to address the people of Gulu on an important subject, about a law that is coming into force soon to curb the sale, production and consumption of alcohol. As you are aware, we are struggling with a number of challenges. Northern Uganda is leading in the country in the sale, production and consumption of alcoholic products, especially waragi packed in sachets which are causing a lot of problems to the community. Northern Uganda is leading in alcohol consumption in Uganda”, says Mapenduzi, during a press conference at the northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) on Monday, October 3, 2016.

In November 2009, 31 people died in Gulu as a result of consuming local waragi which was adulterated with methanol, forcing local authorities to confiscate, stop its sale and production. Several people lost their sights as a result of consuming the crude product.

Mr. Mapenduzi appealed to other districts in the region to adopt similar ordinances so as to curb sale of sachets waragi in the region and the country at large.

“If only one district is implementing such a law, unscrupulous people will still smuggle in from neighboring districts. You should take similar bold steps in bringing similar ordinances in your districts. That is not greed. They don’t care about life and they don’t consume what they produce”, says Mapenduzi.

Why the ordinance.

The main purpose of the ordinance is to protect people from the dangers of alcohol, misleading advertisements, underage drinking and to promote legal trade in alcohol. No one can produce or sell alcohol without license from the district and conditions under which such license can be granted.

“We are leading in the consumption of beer in the country and we are spending over $152,000 on 27 different brands of sachet waragi in a year. Those who produce the waragi are not qualified chemists”, he says.

“Today, I am happy to announce that the Attorney General read through the ordinance and found that whatever we put therein is consistence with other laws of the country. I am therefore appending my signature to the law and take two copies back to the Attorney General’s office so that it is put in Uganda Gazette for publication for it to become operational”, says Mapenduzi.

Highlights of the ordinance

-No bar will be licensed if it is located within one kilometer from a school.

-Alcohol sold in Gulu must be packed in 250 millimeters bottles and above.

-No one can allow minor under 18 years of age in a bar.

-All bars will have to open at 5.00 pm and close at 1.00 am, local time.

-All night clubs will open at 7.00 pm local time.

-All groceries who sell alcohol, which are not drinking places can begin to sell alcoholic beverages from morning hours up to 5.00 pm local time.

Penalty for breaking the ordinance

Anyone who breaks this ordinance will be subjected to a fine of two currency points (shs.40,000/=) or imprisonment of six months. Anyone who holds a license will have his license withdrawn if he breaks any of it; while whistleblowers will receive 5% of the money recovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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