Alcohol consumers have protested some of the provisions of the new drinking code launched by manufacturers.
The manufacturers under their umbrella body, Uganda Alcohol Industry Association (UAIA) have launched a code of conduct named ‘Responsible Code 2023’ that will guide the sale and consumption of alcohol all over the country.
“In particular, marketing should not imply that drinking alcohol is acceptable before or while operating machinery, driving a vehicle or undertaking any other occupation, endeavor or sporting activity that requires a high degree of alertness or physical coordination in order to be carried out safely,” the code reads in part.
Commenting about the code, a number of alcohol consumers described it as not being necessary.
“How will they determine if an employee has taken alcohol before or during work? They hide deeper than smokers. The remedy should be training their clientèle to be more responsible. After someone has bought alcohol, they consume it according to their discretion, not the desire of the manufacturer,” Ernest Kiyonga, a beer enthusiast said in response, particularly to the provision of not allowing beer before and during work.
“The more conditions they put against alcohol consumption, the more its partakers will take it, in opposition of the regulatory demands.”
Kiyonga asked alcohol manufacturers to put a fraction of their profits on sensistizing members of the public on responsible drinking.
Jonathan Kamoga said alcohol has never been a problem for the country and therefore no need for regulation.
“Uganda doesn’t have an alcohol problem. The problem is regulation of quality. While there is legit alcohol on the market, there are a lot of inferior and dangerous alcoholic products that spring up almost daily. The issue should be first emphasising quality of this alcohol that is even too cheap for children to afford,”Kamoga said.
“Responsible drinking is not something new and the beer companies themselves have for decades been investing a lot in its promotion.”
Walter Muleyi described the code of conduct as nothing new.
“As a person who has marketed beer and alcohol brands, I can assure you that there is nothing new here. Alcohol brands, at least according to those whose advertising I have interacted with, refrain from the above acts. They don’t encourage alcohol during work. That’s why advertising for alcohol starts in the evening and not in the morning. I am in agreement of this enforcement advertising, but I’d say it’s only the local, very cheap brands that have been breaking some of them in their advertising,”Muleyi said.
Steven Kizire said ,”They should let us enjoy our drink in peace.”
Commenting about the same on social media, Makmot Oyaka welcomed the code as one that will help solve a “problem” that he said the country is facing with alcohol.
“The wellbeing of those that call Uganda home should come first. Alcoholism is growing into a very huge problem for a country with largely unemployed and unemployable youth. That’s a time bomb we shouldn’t be simply watching in our midst as it grow,”Oyaka said.
Speaking during the launch of the code for responsible drinking on Wednesday, Onapito Ekomoloit, the UAIA chairman said they aim to address social issues such as drinking and driving, underage drinking and heavy episodic drinking.
“Let us separate alcohol consumption from alcohol abuse. As businesses, we are never proud when alcohol is abused and this code is aimed at ensuring that the products are not abused by consumers and manufacturers,” Onapito said.
The alcohol manufacturers said the code is also aimed at stopping the sale and consumption of illicit alcohol which currently accounts for 64.5% of alcohol on the market.
No drinking before, during work as alcohol manufacturers launch code of conduct