The governor of Omusati region, Erginus Endjala, says the amended state of emergency Covid-19 regulations that allow outlets to sell liquor containing less than 3% alcohol has led to confusion among small business owners who also sell liquor such as the traditional brew tombo.
Endjala, who spoke to New Era this week, said the situation has made the work of law enforcement personnel difficult. The Covid-19 regulations were issued in terms of Article 26 (5) of the Namibian Constitution, after President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The initial regulations were issued on 23 March 2020 in Proclamation 9 of 2020 and amended on 18 April by Proclamation 13 of 2020. The amended regulations then made provision for “liquor” with an alcohol content of less than 3%.
The governor said some members of the community selling tombo in the region are now up in arms and feel segregated because other businesses that sell liquor containing less than 3% of alcohol are exempted during the lockdown period.
“The only people that are benefitting from that regulation are big business personalities, but small and medium enterprises that too generate income through the selling of tombo and others are not,” Endjala said.
“People are very angry here and they are no longer complying with the police due to that; as a result our law enforcement officers are finding it difficult to execute their work.”
He said there was a need to ban alcohol sales during the entire lockdown period instead of relaxing some regulations to allow big businesses to make money from liquor sales containing less than 3% alcohol.