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Brewing up a storm

Tonota Police hone in on Home Brewers

On Friday 27 March – a date now referred to as Black Friday by many – a week before the country went into lockdown, government indefinitely suspended the sale of alcohol in Botswana.

For the most part, suppliers and brewers have stuck to the order admirably.

Some, however, have been unable to resist brewing booze. After all, for many, selling the temporarily forbidden liquid provides the bulk of their meagre incomes.

In Tonota, a defiant few have defied the ban, making popular traditional beers, like khadi and power in their homes.

If caught, their defiance comes with a heavy penalty, as Tonota Station Commander Oteng Ngada was quick to tell The Voice.

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“Since lockdown began, on 2 April, we have arrested seven people for selling traditional beer. The ones we arrested are the ones making beer and they were each charged P1, 000,” revealed Ngadu, adding the seven all paid their fines and were subsequently released.

“It is hard to arrest the customers as they buy in 20-litre buckets and drink in their homes,” continued the top cop.

Ngadu warned perpetrators to expect the full wrath of the law if discovered.

“The charge must send a message. We are not going to be lenient on those violating the Covid-19 procedures. They have to know that once they make these beers they attract many people and thus pose a danger of possibly spreading the disease,” he highlighted.

Focusing on some good news, although he did not have the exact numbers, Ngadu declared that criminal cases in the area had dropped dramatically since the lockdown began.

“We are conducting Covid-19 patrols which have also played a big part,” he concluded.

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