ZAMBIAN Breweries (ZB) Plc has signed an agreement with the Lusaka Province Liquor Traders Association (LPLTA) aimed at combating alcohol abuse, underage drinking and drinking in pregnancy.
Speaking at the signing ceremony which was witnessed by Lusaka City Council (LCC) at Southern Sun Hotel, ZB director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele disclosed that the two organisations were collaborating in an effort to enhance knowledge, attitudes and values of the alcohol industry.
Mr Sekele said that the organisations would educate the public and retail traders in developing responsible behaviour in relation to the sale and consumption of alcohol.
He further disclosed that the education would also focus on combating illegal trading, underage drinking and drinking while pregnant.
Mr Sekele said that the agreement would run from August 31, 2016 and that ZB would provide the Liquor Association with technical expertise, capacity building initiatives and financial support.
“We are collaborating in an effort to enhance knowledge, attitudes and values of the alcohol industry by educating the public and retail traders in developing responsible behaviour in relation to the sale and consumption of alcohol and in combating illegal trading and underage drinking. ZB has also partnered with Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to curb drunk driving,” he said.
Mr Sekele pointed out that ZB was committed to supporting efforts in curbing irresponsible sale, underage drinking and irresponsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. He encouraged the establishment and enforcement of clear standards aimed at enhancing compliance for the legal sale and distribution of beer.
Mr Sekele assured that ZB would continue collaborating with key stakeholders to combat negative vices associated with alcohol trading and consumption.
He thanked LPLTA for extending their hand, signing an MOU with ZB and their effort in ensuring responsible sale, distribution and consumption of alcohol in Lusaka.
And LPLTA president David Nseluka explained that his organisation was committed to the fight against alcohol abuse and irresponsible sale, but that they were facing a lot of financial setbacks.
He said that he was confident their agreement with ZB would help overcome the constraints caused by financial impartiality.
Mr Nseluka said that he was hopeful that the MoU would harmonise liquor trading and ensure responsible consumption of alcohol. He disclosed that their aim was to expand their services and introduce a national association to monitor and regulate alcohol sale and consumption across the country.
Meanwhile, LCC director of public health Mwana Mwanamwale welcomed the signing of an understanding between ZB and LPLTA, adding that the partnership would address pertinent issues surrounding liquor trading.
Mr Mwanamwale appealed for compliance between the two organisations and has since warned that their operations should not harm residents of Lusaka.