The document on new proposed liquor trading hours, which circulated widely on social media had tongues wagging, and created a lot of interest, especially from beer guzzlers, but the bubble quickly fizzled out after the document was termed 'fake'.
While the origins of the document, labelled ‘Annexure 1: Proposed Liquor Trading Hours’ is unknown, when addressing Batswana living in the Kingdom of eSwatini, President Mokgweetsi Masisi, hinted that his government was planning to review liquor trading hours.
The President who touched on a variety of issues during his address, told the gathering that his government was going to review a number of processes, one of which will be alcohol trading hours. Echoing the message he gave the Kgotla meeting in Rakops last week, President Masisi assured the Batswana in eSwatini that his administration was going to consult relevant stakeholders and Batswana at large to map the way forward on alcohol related issues, including excessive alcohol abuse, as well as liquor trading hours. “We will consult the nation to come up with suggestions on what should be done, to ensure that those who drink alcohol do so responsibly,” Masisi said.
He however emphasised that the government will also review some of the regulations imposed during, former president, Ian Khama’s tenure, relating to liquor trading hours.
He acknowledged that people have different interest, explaining that they are those whose way of relaxation is going to entertainment joints, and enjoying a few drinks. He said those people should enjoy their right to entertainment, as long as they are not infringing on other
“We are going to talk to all stakeholders, including those who drink alcohol, and those who enjoy going to entertainment spots to dance the night away, so that they can dance freely, as long as they are not putting other people’s lives in danger nor infringing on other citizens’ rights,” he said
He emphasised that all stakeholders will be given a chance to speak freely on what should be done about the issue of alcohol.
“We are going to set a deadline for consultations to be completed, after which the government will take a decision,” he explained.
He said while the decision, which will be taken might end up being welcomed by some, while others might not necessarily agree with it, the hope is that the consultations will produce suggestions that once adopted will satisfy majority.
The President touched on a number of issues, which included improvement of service delivery, review of processes associated with starting businesses and attracting investors, as well as challenges faced by people who live in areas, which are densely populated with wild animals. He said the government has to come up with ways of protecting the lives of its citizens against these wild animals, while at the same time protecting wild animals.
He said his administration intended to make changes as quickly as possible.