The government last Thursday announced that a decision has been taken to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol, starting from Friday September 4, 2020.
The news was considered to be good for a variety of reasons, the most important being perhaps that part of our society will be able to feed their families again, and sustain their livelihoods.
Yes, there are a good number of people in our society that make a living out of selling alcohol. Bar owners use the money to pay for their children’s school fees, feed their families and meet all their necessities, while at the same time creating employment for others.
Those who work in industries that trade with alcohol also need their jobs to make ends meet, and no one can start to imagine how the ban was affecting these people.
Then of course there is the issue of imbibers who were complaining of ‘thirst’. It is understandable as most habits once formed can be quite difficult to break. People take alcohol for a variety of reasons. There are those who claim alcohol helps them relax after a long day, and those who say it helps them deal with tough situations.
But whatever the reasons alcohol seems to be an integral part of many people’s lives, and for as long as intoxication is not putting other members of the society in harm’s way, they should be allowed to drink
But, taking a decision to drink alcohol comes with certain responsibilities, which some drinkers seem to forget sometimes. We are now in the era of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has claimed many lives across the globe.
The ban on the sale of alcohol was one of the measures taken to curb the spread of the virus. While it is understandable that those who drink alcohol had stayed for a long time without their favourite beverage, the behaviour of some drinkers over the weekend was shameful.
There is a Setswana saying: “Go itlhaba ka thipa mpeng” and that is exactly what some people were doing over the weekend. Many people hosted parties across the Greater Gaborone, it is shameful for adults to behave this way when the government has tried to educate the nation on the dangers of COVID-19.
If adults are the ones acting foolishly, how do we expect them to guide children and encourage them to follow the rules, when they themselves cannot. Let’s all play our part.
While you may not care whether the ban comes back or not, there are people who care such the affected business owners and people who make a living through selling alcohol. Let’s be exemplary and consume alcohol responsibly.