The proposed ban on beer sales on Sundays, which has reportedly been taken up for discussion in Cabinet, has been sharply criticised by most bottle store owners in Harare, saying the move is set to cripple business.
The National Alcohol Policy, under which the ban would be enforced, is reportedly being spearheaded by Timothy Stamps, special health advisor to President Robert Mugabe.
NewsDay visited several bottle stores to gather the operators’ views on the matter and this is what they said:
Taurai Marandure of Marandure Bottle Store in Mount Hampden said: “The proposed ban will affect our business because we carry out most of our business on Sundays. We rarely sell even three crates of beer during the day, but at night time our customers start buying after work. The ban will also affect our colleagues who are renting premises because they would be facing problems in raising rentals.”
Mark Dzumbunu of Oilspill Bottle Store located at The Stones in Highfield concurred: “The ban would affect our income as businesspeople and as a result we would face problems in raising salaries for our workers. Whoever came up with that suggestion forgot that it would promote shebeen business yet they do not pay taxes.”
Peter Chatindo, who owns Tsodzo General Dealer in Nharira, Chivhu, said: “It would be better if the proposal was for beer to be sold between 12 noon and 10pm during the week and from 10am to
12 noon on Sundays considering that these are the times when our customers visit our bottle stores.”
However, it is in central Harare, that beer outlets are unlikely to feel the pinch.
Wellington Wurayayi, manager at Kilimanjaro Sports Bar in the CBD, said: “The ban will not actually affect night clubs, but bottle stores. On Sundays we do not carry out major business as night clubs since the volume of people in town would be very little. On the other hand, the proposed ban is good for the safety of the patrons but a disadvantage to the business.”