By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - The board chairman of Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), Fagil Mandy has told security operatives to arrest bar owners and operators for selling alcohol to the underage.
“There are bars which open early and close late without operating licenses and are selling alcohol to the underage. Government should arrest people selling alcoholic drinks to teenagers below the age of 18,” Mandy said.
“Security agencies should play their part in order to have a sober population and if we don’t we are creating a fallen people.”
Mandy, who was speaking as a chief guest during the launch of a campaign dubbed “Zero tolerance to under- age drinking,” at Nakumatt Oasis in Kampala said security agencies should crack down on bar owners and operators.
The campaign was initiated by Uganda Breweries Limited and Nakumatt Holdings Limited.
“If the Police don’t crack down people selling alcohol to under-age, we are losing young people,” he said.
“I have never seen security operatives checking bars to hunt down those who are selling alcohol to young ones,” he stated.
He asked Government legislate on breweries manufacturers and sells operators to ensure that alcohol is not sold and served to the under –age.
The law in Uganda doesn’t permit young people below the age of 18 to take alcohol.
Launching the campaign of Zero tolerance to underage drinking. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
The UNEB boss also appealed to parents especially the rich ones to take care of their children not to give them freedom which he termed as ‘enjoy life’ because it is a result of ‘enjoying life’ the youngsters indulge in alcoholism, drug abuse and sex before marriage.
“We have parents who consent their children to drink. They begin giving them little by little, this is very dangerous. It is foolishness. They are killing their own children,” he said.
Raymond Van Der Salm, the sales director of Uganda Breweries Limited urged the regulators to put law in place that isn’t deterrent to breweries players.
He also asked Government to fast track Identity cards so as to combat under -age drinking.
He argued that with IDs in place each holder’s age would be known and those involved in alcohol selling can easily identify the young ones.
The Nakumatt Holdings Limited regional director strategy and operations, Thigarajan Ramamurthy implored parents, religious leaders and educationists to join hands to fight under- age drinking.
The deputy Police spokesman, Patrick Onyango told guests that in Kampala alone over five road accidents are recorded during holidays and more especially over weekends and the culprits are teenagers below 18-years- of age.
“Either the under-age steal their parents’ cars on they are willingly given and end up causing road accidents,” Onyango said.