RUNDU – In Rundu, buying alcohol in light of the state sanctioned prohibition to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is like buying illegal drugs and trust and honesty is at play.
If the person selling alcohol through the backdoor does not trust you, it means you will be going back without this commodity that has become scarce.
Many people selling alcohol in violation of the current restrictions, have their regular customers and do not just sell to anyone.
“These days it is expensive to get drunk, some of us have become sober people because when the drinking holes were closed due to covid-19, I used up my money in the first week as we were buying behind closed doors, and they milked us, so now the adherence has kicked in,” said a resident who requested not be named.
According to sources, prices of alcohol now depend on sellers assessing the risk factor and those involved in this trade have resorted to doing so discreetly lest an informer exposes them.
At Rundu just like in other parts of the country such as Windhoek, alcohol consumers are being charged N$35 for a 750ml bottle of Tafel Lager selling through the backdoor while small bottles of beer cost N$25 each compared to the normal prices of about N$20 for a 750ml bottle.
“I never thought that I will ever do something illegal for me to get some alcohol in my system, the urge is something I cannot control. I cannot go for days without beer, getting it has become a risk,” said another source who also requested for anonymity.
Howver there are some shebeen and pub operators adhering to the prohibition of the sale of alcohol.
At some villages in Kavango East, those seeking to drink their favourite traditional brew have started going to mahangu fields where some moonlight brewers sell in secrecy to avoid getting caught. Some drinkers of traditional brew melt into nearby mahangu fields pretending they are going to harvest some mahangu while in actual fact they go there to drink.
They later emerge from these fields - not patrolled by the police - drunk.