Harare rated Zim’s top drinking city


HARARE – Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, is famous for its hard partying.

People flock from around the country to throw back a few cold ones.

It’s like the nation’s watering hole. And now it emerges the city may be the hardest-drinking city in Zimbabwe.

Harare ranks high for its drinking habits across the board. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Harare consumes more alcohol than any other city or region in the country.

Deputy director of CDC Panganai Dhliwayo told the annual congress of the Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) in Victoria Falls yesterday that figures released by Zimbabwe’s beer manufacturer Delta Beverages confirms Harare’s long reputation as a city built on beer. It has the highest alcohol consumption.

Presenting a paper titled “Demystifying Zimbabwe’s draft alcohol policy: Sharing the facts”, Dhliwayo said Delta’s financial results revealed that Zimbabwe consumed 198,1 million hectolitres of lager beer last year, and 335,4 million hectolitres of masese (opaque/millet beer).

“Of the lager, 43 percent of that was consumed in Harare,” Dhliwayo said.

“Bulawayo was a distant second with 11 percent. The masese contest was a lot closer with Harare leading on 21 percent with Masvingo and Mashonaland West on 19 percent and 18 percent respectively.”

Dhliwayo said the negative effects of the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and HIV are underplayed as a consequence of the drinking going on.

“The Zimbabwe national alcohol policy reaches in the health sector and beyond to engage development, transportation and the community in partnerships so that the entire population can be free from alcohol-related harm,” he said.

He highlighted a comprehensive consultative programme went into the formulation of the policy. The policy is awaiting Cabinet approval before implementation.

Dhliwayo warned that the effects of acute intoxication can often be associated with a wide range of negative consequences.

“These negative consequences associated with alcohol include risky behaviour, accidents, road crashes, violence and acute alcohol poisoning at times leading to injury and death,” said Dhliwayo.

Health advisor to the President and Cabinet Timothy Stamps has proposed a clamp down on the drinking culture in his controversial national alcohol policy.

Stamps recommended having alcohol sold only between 6am and 7pm from Monday to Saturday and before midday on Sunday. Also there will be a closer look at who the alcohol is being sold to.

Among proposed measures will be limits on times when drinking will be allowed, penalising of pedestrians who are caught drunk.

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