I wonder what MP Betty Nambooze is after to propose such an atrocious Bill. I am one of those people who don’t support reckless drinking but I don’t see how Nambooze’s bill is going to help.
According to the Bill which is titled the Alcohol Drinks Control Bill 2016, the sale or consumption of alcohol before 5pm or after 1am will become criminal in Uganda and violators risk a Shs 2m fine or one year jail term.
So if the Bill aims to consolidate all alcoholic related laws and set tougher sanctions on alcohol consumption, how is it going to achieve that with such a time slot? I really see no change with what has been happening around Kampala bars.
While they have been opening a bit earlier than 5pm, normally bars start to become active around 7pm when most people have left work and while they close around 3am, by that time most people have already left for home to have an early start for the next day.
So I wonder what difference Nambooze Bill is going to make if people have been selling and consuming alcohol around the same time. So, imagine if the bill is passed and the sale and consumption of alcohol starts around 5pm and end around 1am, who says that in that time slot, people cannot sell or consume alcohol excessively beyond the limit.
Besides that, if am not mistaken, the bill’s emphasis seems to be on bars but is anyone aware that retail shops also play a big role in the sale of alcohol.
Secondly, the Bill provides that “the sale of alcohol shall also not be to persons under the age of 18. However, one of Nambooze.s major point is that she would want to make it extremely hard for students at higher institutions of learning to access alcohol. What does she mean by that? These students are normally above 18 years old, old enough to consume alcohol so how can you imagine you can make it hard for them to access alcohol.
Remember, the one objective that is always on students’ minds is to bend the law. Even if you keep bars out of universities, students will always find a way to access alcohol. If they can be able to escape from their secondary schools just to go clubbing, what makes one think that one can make it hard for them to access alcohol while at campus.
Betty Nambooze, whatever I have read about your bill makes me believe that you hurriedly thought of a bill without carrying out enough background research to formulate such a bill.
In Uganda, we don’t need to stop people from drinking at whatever time they feel like. That’s abusing their rights. What we need to do is to teach them to drink responsibly and also sensitizise them about the effects of alcohol on a person’s health.