OTJIWARONGO, 16 AUG – Okakarara Constituency Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu has called on Government to amend the Liquor Act to force outlets to open in the morning and close midday to allow customers to return to their houses in daylight.
“Nobody should be drinking at night,” Kandorozu said in a media release yesterday, in what may be seen as a reaction to the alleged clashes that occurred at Okakarara Saturday night between some residents and members of the Namibian Police Force.
It is alleged that police officers had ordered the closure of a bar that night while some community members there still wanted to continue drinking and objected to the police order.
Suddenly, an altercation between the police and bar patrons erupted.
Sergeant Ferdinand Muharukua was then allegedly hit with a bottle on the head by a community member, resulting in the police to resort to beatings and arresting 39 people.
On Monday, all 39 members of the community were released from police custody on warning.
Kandorozu condemned the behaviour of the police who allegedly took advantage of the dark and indiscriminately assaulted the unarmed civilians.
According to the councillor, it is high time for the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to amend the Liquor Act with a universal change to the operational hours of liquor outlets.
The current Liquor Act of 1998 as amended, allows liquor outlets to operate as per their licenses, whereby some operate from evening to the next morning at 04h00.
“All outlets in this proposed new amendment I am making, bars and shebeens, should be allowed to operate from morning until 12h00,” said Kandorozu, adding that this will help police take control of alcohol-related situations during daytime.
It will also lead to a more sober community, he suggested.