Days numbered for illegal shebeens

08 February 2018 | Crime

The curtain is set to come down on illegal shebeens and liquor outlets that have been operating in contravention of the Liquor Act in the Omaheke Region.

So says Nampol's Regional Commander in the Omaheke Region, Commissioner Andreas Haingura, who said that the police will soon roll out a campaign to rid the region of illegal liquor outlets.

He said the mushrooming of shebeens and other liquor trading places, most of which operate without proper documentation, has become a thorn in the flesh of the regional police.

Haingura said that concerns have been raised by the community about noise pollution and long operating hours.

“The issue of shebeens is really becoming a problem everywhere and the Omaheke Region is no exception. This is something that needs urgent intervention, as it cannot be allowed to go on in its current state,” he said.

Haingura urged shebeen owners who are yet to formalise registrations for their outlets, to do so without fail. He added that shebeen owners who are licensed to operate are also amongst those not sticking to the conditions of their licenses. Such businesses, he said, will also face a close-down when the regional police start enforcing and checking for adherence to the liquor act.

The mass closing down of unlicensed shebeens some three years ago in the Omaheke Region caused an uproar amongst the Gobabis community, most of whom called on the office of the regional councillor, Phillipus Katamelo, for intervention.

The matter also appeared to have strained relations between the regional police and some local authority representatives at the time, who were of the opinion that the police approach was too radical.

Alcohol abuse in Gobabis has become a chronic problem, with informal liquor trading outlets, where cheap traditional brews such as tombo is being sold, far outnumbering shebeens.

Many people, especially the unemployed, spend hours at these liquor trading houses where they indulge in excessive drinking of cheap home-brews. – Nampa

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