THE sale of alcohol popularly known as spirits or ‘‘hot stuff’’ is on the rise at most commuter ranks in Lusaka.
The water-like substance is well known for its reputation of causing total blackouts to drinkers. Despite the adverse health and social effects of alcohol abuse, the drink is proving popular with alcohol drinkers who work in the streets, due to its availability and affordability.
At City Market bus station the illicit beer traders use passenger sheds to conduct their business.
Agness Mwamba, a vendor, alleged that the availability of the illicit beer was causing problems for them.
“The sale of spirits in bus stations and on the streets is increasing the number of vagabonds in the city. Some of the drinkers get drunk to the point of not being able to go home and they end up sleeping anywhere,” she said.
And Philemon Mwanza, a commuter, observed that consumption of alcohol in public places had an impact not only on the drinkers but also on the people around as well.
Mr. Mwanza said drunkards tend to have loose morals which impacted negatively on people they encounter.
He suggested that coordinated effort was needed between law enforcement authorities and society to eliminate the sale of illicit brews in Lusaka.
“As a city we need to treat the problem with the urgency it demands before it gets out of hand,; alcohol abuse has been blamed for various social ills, including violence,” he said.
According to the Liquor Licensing Act no. 20 of 2011, it was a punishable offence to sell alcohol without a licence as well as consuming alcohol in unauthorised places, commonly referred to as public drinking.