The Zimbabwean government is set to enact a law barring the sale of alcohol during some days of the week, some hours of the day and to expectant women, in a bid to curb abuse of the beverage.
The National Alcohol Policy is said to be the brainchild of former Zimbabwe health minister Timothy Stamps, now serving as health adviser in the office of the president and cabinet.
The new law will also target motor vehicle drivers, who will face arrest if found driving with blood alcohol concentration levels going beyond 0,08 per 100ml. Retailers found selling the drink to expectant women will also be arrested.
The policy also proposes that any alcohol advertisements should be done further than 100 metres from a road intersection, school, clinic, hospital, church and old people’s homes.
Critics of the proposed regulations have however taken issue with its impact on profitability for retailers. They say it would force many of them out of business in a country where unemployment is a big problem. Proponents however say it will help impart behavior change and curb alcohol abuse.