Tororo District Woman Member of Parliament, Hon. Sarah Opendi has been granted leave to bring a private members bill to regulate the manufacturing, sale, and consumption of alcohol in the country.
The Private Member’s Bill seeks to repeal the current legislation that includes, the Liquor Act, the Portable Spirit Act, and the Enguli (Manufacturing and Licensing) Act, all enacted in the 1960s which have become obsolete to address contemporary challenges of excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks.
Opendi is concerned that the harmful use of alcoholic drinks causes a high burden of disease and has significant social and economic consequences like domestic violence that often results in harm to people.
Opendi also wants the law to regulate the promotion and advertisement of alcoholic drinks as well as the treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by alcoholic drinks among others.
“The current legislations have their weaknesses and we need stringent measures or penalties to control the consumption of alcohol and also its production in the country,” Opendi said.
According to Opendi, although they cannot stop people from drinking alcohol, the government can regulate it the drinking hours.
However, Busiro Couty East MP Medard Lubega Sseggona condemned the proponents of the Bill for sexualizing it.
“By saying that people fail to take care of children and wives, what happens to the wives who drink?” he questioned.
Speaker Anita Among however said that when people drink too much alcohol, many of them fail to take care of their families.
“It is a fact that when people drink, they abandon their families. It is also a fact that when you men drink, you even fail to perform,” said Speaker Anita Among.
Notably, the World Health Organization Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health of 2018 ranked Uganda among the top alcohol per capita consuming countries in Africa.
Uganda was also ranked the leading per capita consumer in East Africa.