Shebeen owners go home

Namibian Shebeen Association (NASA) president, Veripi Kandenge, said this week they had decided to withdraw all NASA members and supporters from the parliamentary buildings.

“After having thoroughly held consultations with various government ministries and stakeholders as well as influential personalities, and in the interest of other members of our society, the leadership of the Namibian Shebeen Association (NASA) has reached an interim decision to withdraw all NASA members and supporters from the Parliamentary Buildings,” Kandenge said, adding; “Such withdrawal will be completed within two days due to logistical reasons.”

Last week, the shebeen owners were camped outside Parliament seeking answers from the government on whether or not the Liquor Act would be amended to accommodate their grievances. They were there for about 8 days.

Kandenge said they were happy that their efforts had met tangible successes; “the government has now admitted that the Liquor Act 1998 (Act 6 of 1998) is flawed and cannot be implemented in the present form. Hence the decision by government to make requisite amendments to the Act.”

Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula last week asked the shebeen owners to go back to their homes and give government at least three weeks in which to deliberate the Liquor Act and come up with “workable and practical” solutions for its implementation.

However, Swapo party president Sam Nujoma said the country’s Vision 2030 could not be implemented by a nation of drunkards and people who promote drunkenness like the shebeen owners.

Nujoma said the shebeen owners had acted irresponsibly by camping in front of a national symbol, and by slaughtering a cow while there was an outbreak of polio in the country.

“Vision 2030 cannot be implemented by drunkards or people who promote drunkenness like those demonstrating outside the Parliament building.

They are supposed to have licences. There are laws and ordinances governing every town. Even in rural areas we have kings and queens. If you are singing around the whole night, surely the king will arrest you. You will be punished,” Nujoma said.

He was addressing Swapo leaders from the Khomas Region in Windhoek last week. He also rejected the call by the shebeen owners that they be allowed to operate illegally.

July 2006
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