Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's health adviser, Timothy Stamps, has drafted stringent regulations governing the sale alcohol aiming to curb abusive consumption, focusing on expectant mothers among other groups.
The Standard weekly newspaper reported that Stamps late last week unveiled a national alcohol policy that proposes to prohibit consumption by pregnant women, teenagers and the visibly inebriated.
If passed into law as an amendment to the country's Liquor Act, the regulations will also bar the mention of alcohol in advertisements aimed at families, sporting promotions and educational materials. The sale of alcohol in any outlet will be limited to the hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. except on Sunday, when alcohol counters will close at noon.
Economists and legal experts said the proposed alcohol policy is ill-timed and will be difficult to implement. Some noted that the beer industry is an important component of national economic output.
Chief Parliamentary Whip Innocent Gonese of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, expressing skepticism on the proposed crackdown on alcohol sale and use, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that Zimbabweans will find a way to subvert the regulations if they are passed into law.