I will not lead a nation of drunkards: Pohamba

Reacting to shebeen owners, who during various demonstrations held in the country in the past few weeks, blamed him for the closure of unlicensed shebeens by the police, Pohamba said Namibia had a democratic Government and the country had a collective leadership.

“I have a problem to lead a nation of drunkards, I will not lead a nation of drunkards” Pohamba told the Namibian nation, adding that when he consulted the social sector (churches and local authorities) on the matter, all were in agreement with the enforcement of the Liquor Act.

Speaking at the official inauguration of the Okongo police station and magistrates court in the Ohangwena Region, Pohamba declared that he had no constitutional right to prevent the implementation of any law.

The President said the Liquor Act No. 6 of 1998 was passed by Parliament about seven years ago and the law enforcement agencies were just implementing it by asking people selling liquor without licenses to stop doing so.

“Don’t make a mistake; what we are leading is a Swapo government. No individual can lead or take decisions without the mandate of the whole leadership of Swapo,” the President said.

Although he pointed out that nothing good really comes out of drinking liquor, Pohamba reiterated that the Liquor Act did not prevent the sale of liquor.

“But, those selling liquor must have licenses to do so, otherwise no selling of liquor without a license in this country,” Pohamba put it bluntly.

He then cautioned shebeen owners that law enforcement agencies like the police would continue with the operation of closing down unlicensed liquor outlets.

A crowd of shebeen owners staged a peaceful demonstration at the northern town of Oshakati demanding the Liquor Act be reviewed.

June 2006
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