By Danstan Masereka
Tororo District Woman Representative, Hon. Sarah Opendi will introduce the Alcohol Control Bill that seeks to regulate drinking.
The Private Member’s Bill seeks to repeal the current legislation that includes, the Liquor Act, the Portable Spirit Act, and the Enguli (Manufacturing and Licensing) Act, all enacted in the 1960s which have become obsolete to address contemporary challenges of excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks.
Opendi is concerned that the harmful use of alcoholic drinks causes a high burden of disease and has significant social and economic consequences like domestic violence that often results in harm to people.
She said that the Bill will comprehensively address the regulation of the manufacture and importation, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks.
She also wants the law to regulate the promotion and advertisement of alcoholic drinks as well as the treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by alcoholic drinks among others.
“The current legislations have their weaknesses and we need stringent measures or penalties to control the consumption of alcohol and also its production in the country,” Opendi said.
However, while Opendi’s Bill could be good one end, there are questions of WHY?
Opendi is married to Bukonzo West Member of Parliament, Atkins Katusabe (FDC).
Well-placed sources say that while Opendi is pushing for this Bill, her husband has too much love for the bottle.
Inside sources say that while in Kasese, Katusabe drinks from Movic and Kibala (where he meets his political strategists). In Fort Portal, insiders note that Katusabe doesn’t miss Africana and in Kampala, he parties around Kyaliwajala in Namugongo.
“So, is the Bill personal or it’s for the good of the Public,” a source says describing Opendi as a Mulokole.
It is however important to note that although they cannot stop people from drinking alcohol, the government can regulate it the drinking hours.