Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Alcohol a national scourge in Botswana

"The disturbing abuse of alcohol is not a party political issue but a national challenge that requires our collective leadership." So said Botswana President Festus Mogae, addressing the Botswana parliament in support of a bill to regulate alcohol sales.
"Families have endured the daily agony of poverty and abuse because they are headed by alcoholics. Wives have been abused and even killed by husbands whose only plea was that they were under the influence of alcohol. Lives have been lost through drunken driving. HIV/AIDS infections that could not have occurred had taken place because the infected people's judgment was impaired by alcohol. The list goes on," he said.
The bill is opposed by the alcoholic beverage industry, which has a number of members of the Botswana parliament on its side. More. The alcohol industry has issued a veiled threat that if the government proceeds, it will take the trade underground in defiance of the law, as during the American Prohibition period. Source.

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