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Lifting Of The Alcohol Ban Welcome, But…

MONITOR EDITOR
Botswana has now eased lockdown regulations, and life is slowly getting into the new normal, even though many are scared because of economic uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

While some were fortunate enough to return to their jobs after the lockdown, there are those who unfortunately had no jobs to get back to, and this is just the beginning of the effects of COVID-19.  Batswana will mostly likely continue to feel these effects as they trickle throughout the year, and perhaps beyond.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi on May 30, 2020 announced, “as part of reopening the economy, government has decided though in a controlled manner, to allow sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, the details of which will be communicated by the Honourable Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Ms Peggy Serame shortly”. While this was sweet music to the ears of those who imbibe alcoholic beverages, there are those who seemed to be disappointed, their reasoning being that it was too early to open up for the sale of alcohol. Many countries, including but not limited to Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, banned the sale of alcohol, thus forfeiting millions. There is no doubt that alcohol sales account for a big portion in the economic chart, and it is of course one of the biggest job creating industries across the globe.  Most Western countries did not completely ban the sale of alcohol, as they closed pubs

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and restaurants, but still allowed individuals to purchase alcohol, and enjoy it at the comfort of their own homes. BBC in April reported that while pubs and bars were closed, supermarket alcohol sales were on the rise. This of course shows that people may have increased consumption most likely because most of them had a lot of free time that they did not know what to do with. But, it also shows that the alcohol industry plays a major role in the economy of most countries across the world. Most countries decided to temporarily ban the sale of alcohol to protect the health of its people, since it is a known fact that alcohol compromises one’s immune system, especially when consumed in large quantities frequently, hence the decision to ban its sale.  It is understandable for some people to panic at the prospect of re-opening for the sale of alcohol, but there is much more at stake. There are many men and women out there who rely on the alcohol industry to feed their families, hence the need for government to allow the sale of alcohol. The best way to deal with the alcohol issue in such a time is to educate people on its effects on their health.



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