MEMBERS of Parliament have expressed concern over an increase in the sale and consumption of illicit brews, tumbwa.
Also known as musombodia or kachasu, tumbwa are made by mixing ethanol or methanol with a brownish colouring.
While the packaging may claim the drink is 40 percent alcohol, in reality, the alcohol content could be twice as toxic.
Rushinga MP, Tendai Nyabani, said many wives were as good as widows even though their husbands are still alive due to the effects of the illicit alcohol.
“This beer has 65 percent alcohol. It is being sold for US$1 for three. These are now a menace in most communities, and we want all those selling them to be arrested.
“If they are not arrested, it means the Government is condoning the sale of this substance,” Nyabani said.
Tsholotsho South MP, Musa Ncube, said drugs had found their way into rural areas and the number of mental cases had increased in hospitals due to drugs.
“To make matters worse, drug dealers are arrested and released after two days, which is very worrying because we cannot allow drug dealers to destroy future generations,” she said.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, said they will end the sale of tumbwa.
“The issue of this illicit alcohol has become a major concern and it has been made worse by shops that are sprouting up selling these.
“Some people are selling from the boot of their vehicles, and no longer know that for one to sell beer, they must have a liquor licence.
“Beer is now being sold everywhere.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs is now seized with moving around to ensure that if it is a grocery shop, any retailer selling liquor is arrested.
“If you are selling liquor, you must be selling liquor that is legal because some people are smuggling all types of alcohol through our borders.”
Minister Ziyambi said the government was working on turning some of the Covid-19 centres into rehabilitation centres.
“Now that Covid-19 is under control, we are identifying those Covid isolation centres in the provinces with a view of converting some of them into rehabilitation centres for drug addicts,” he said.