THE call for the ban of the alcoholic dangerous drink, popularly known as Junta or Tujilijili, by parents and sections of the church, is a welcome one.
Like clearly stated by former Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Pukuta Mwanza, the evergrowing consumption of the potent drink, especially by the youth, was a time bomb and could easily wipe out their population if left unchecked.
As stated by Rev Pukuta, Government needs to immediately act to curtail the production and distribution of the dangerous substance because it was not in the best interest of the nation. The danger it possess of disturbing and destroying the very future of Zambia is not something we can simply sit and watch as a nation.
It is indeed true that the sale of junta has caused great harm to citizens, especially the youth population, as most of them, after consuming it, engage in vices that are not only harmful to their health but cause so much stress to communities and the nation as a whole.
There is definitely need for the State to ensure that it finds a way to stop all importation and distribution and materials that are used in the production of the cheap drinks and to make it a serious offence if any person is found to be in possession of such chemicals.
This issue has also been raised by parents in Kabushi, Masala and Mushili Townships in Ndola who feel the rate at which children are patronising bars, nightclubs and consuming junta is just alarming.
The parents have complained that most drinking places in the area operate outside the council stipulated time and admitted underage children who mostly consumed the cheap but highly potent drink.
They complained that, due to excessive drinking, most children had as a result become insolent, disrespectful and were also unable to engage in productive or economic activities.
The message is clear. There is urgent need for the local authorities, working with police, to seriously begin to act to control the situation everywhere as the situation is definitely desperate countrywide.
“Our children’s morals are getting affected, every day we have to go to bars to fish them out. Some parents have even given up that’s why you will find some children drunk as early as 07:00 hours. It is not like we, as parents, have failed but we need help from the Council to stop these issues,” according to one parent.
The law should also be tough on people trying to cash in on the situation by providing more drinking places for the youth through converting homes into illegal beer selling spots – shebeens.
This is definitely perpetrating illegality and local authorities definitely need to act tough on these criminals.
As Zambia embarks on implementation of its Alcohol Policy, there is need for the nation to unite against underage drinking, alcohol abuse and every form of lawlessness in the beer industry to secure the country’s future.
The youth are the future of the country