By NONDUDUZO KUNENE | 2020-06-01
Ministry of commerce industry and trade will deal harshly with all alcohol retailers that stocked alcohol after government suspended all liquor distribution and wholesaling.
Following pictures that were circulating over the past weekend on social media and newspapers of a popular liquor outlet receiving stock from outside the country, the ministry has reminded liquor suppliers that the manufacturing, distribution and wholesaling of liquor remained banned in Eswatini.
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo said they had received disturbing reports of the importation of liquor into the Kingdom of Eswatini.
“A large consignment of liquor made its way into the Kingdom on Friday,” he said.
Khumalo advised all outlets that received liquor from neighbouring countries in the past three days to desist from selling their stock until government had approved the manufacturing and distribution of liquor.
Khumalo said the ministry was investigating how the liquor was imported under the current COVID-19 regulations. He added that they had already engaged customs officials to alert them to be on the lookout for such illegal activity.
The minister added that security officers and inspectors from the ministry shall be deployed with immediate effect to ensure that no illegal distribution of liquor took place. The inspections that will be carried out will also involve the checking of the manufacturing date to ensure bottle stores that are still in operation are not selling illegally distributed liquor.
“The ministry shall take appropriate action against those found to be practicing such,” he said.
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