Uganda is a celebrated alcohol consuming country, often appearing top of the global list of the leading consumer of the bitter drink, however, this feat being challenged by the introduction of a strigent alcohol trading and consumption bill in parliament.
Parliament has announced that Sarah Opendi, the Tororo District Woman Member of Parliament, has finally tabled the Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill 2023.
The unpopular bill has received mixed fraction from members of the public. Many people believe the proposed law is restrictive and shouldn’t be passed.
“I don’t think it can work in Uganda when 80% of the parliament [Members of Parliament] are victims,” Rogers Bingi, a usual consumer of alcohol said sarcastically.
Only five drinking hours a day
In clause 14 of the Alcoholics Drinks Control Bill 2023, Opendi is proposing to regulate time within which alcoholic drinks are sold in Uganda by limiting sale of alcohol to only 5hours during working days and 12 hours during weekends.
“A licensee shall not sell an alcoholic drink or native liquor before- (a) l7:00 hours and after 22:00 hours on working days; (b) 12:00 hours and after 00:00 hours on public holidays and weekends,” noted Opendi.
10 year jail term
The bill proposes a jail term of 10 years or fine of Shs20million for anyone found selling alcoholic drinks before 5pm & beyond 10pm on working days.
Opendi proposed in clause 14(4) “A erson who contravenes subsection (l) or (2) commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points (Shs20Million) or imprisonment for a period of ten years or both.”
No alcohol in sachets
Opendi in clause 26 of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill 2023, is seeking to ban the packing, importing or selling an alcoholic drink in a sachet, plastic bottle & proposed a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points (Shs20Million) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years, or both.
Opendi wants the employment of a person below the age 18 years in premises in which an alcoholic drink is manufactured, sold, stored or consumed prohibited, and proposed a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points (Shs20Million) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or both.
No underage drinking
Opendi in clause 25 proposed a ban on the sale or supply of an alcoholic drink to a person below the age 18 & proposed a fine not exceeding two thousand currency points (Shs40Million) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years, or both.
Also in clause 30 of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill 2023, Opendi wants sellers of alcoholic drinks on-line to put in place mechanisms to verify the age of the buyer & anyone who fails to do so, should be held liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred currency points (Shs4Million) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or both.