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Underage drinking difficult to curb, LCC

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
THE Lusaka City Council (LCC) says it will be difficult to curb underage drinking unless a law is introduced to compel consumers to produce national registration cards (NRC) when buying alcoholic beverages.
Council public relations manager Mulunda Habeenzu said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that it is difficult to tell an individual’s age just by looking at them.
“People should not leave the task of curbing underage drinking to the council alone because it is difficult to tell the age of someone by looking at them.
“Unless we come up with the law that demands people to carry NRCs before buying alcohol,” Mr Habeenzu said.
He said parents are key to helping the local authority to curb underage drinking because it is difficult to tell someone’s age just by looking at them.
Mr Habeenzu said traders at shopping malls should not be blamed for excessive beer drinking among the youths but that parents and guardians have a duty to counsel their children.
“We had conducted patrols in the past aimed at curbing underage drinking and arrested some people we thought were young.
“But when we brought them to the civic centre and their parents brought their NRCs, we discovered that they were actually above the age of 20,’’ he said.
Mr Habeenzu said it is important for parents to spend time with their children and to nurture them.
He also said some parents are also to blame for the behaviour of some youths because they are too busy with their lives and they do not spend time with their children.
Mr Habeenzu , however, said LCC will do all it can to curb under aged drinking but that the onus is on all Zambians to help the youth not to ruin their lives.

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