As the country enters the festive season, Minister of Broadcasting Information Services Hon. Dora Siliya has called for an open and honest conversation on alcohol use among Zambians.
Speaking at a Zambian Breweries Smart Drinking Awareness event in Lusaka’s Chibolya township, Ms Siliya underscored the brewer’s #ResponsibleTogether message and advised all citizens to take personal responsibility for their alcohol use.
“There must be responsibility first, and you have to set yourself some rules; nobody will give you those rules, you have to make certain rules for yourself.”
There is a need for the conversation on alcohol use to start early, especially in schools, and that the family as a social institution should be the starting point in driving the conversation, she added.
Meanwhile, Minister of Gender Hon. Elizabeth Phiri represented by Gender Rights Protection Director Lynn Habanji, commended Zambian Breweries for educating Zambians on smart drinking practices and for promoting a message of togetherness.
“The #ResponsibleTogether campaign by Zambian Breweries has provided us with an opportunity to have an honest and open conversation on alcohol abuse and associated vices. My biggest takeaway from this campaign is its emphasis on the need to work together and avoid the blame game; we must work together,” she said.
She further said that the government, in partnership with other stakeholders, was committed to making communities safer for everyone and free of vices such as underage drinking, binge drinking and gender-based violence.
Meanwhile, Zambian Breweries Corporate Affairs Director Ezekiel Sekele said through the #ResponsibleTogether campaign, the company was changing the way consumers think by cultivating a positive drinking culture that avoids excessive drinking.
At the same event, Zambian Breweries donated 4,000 facemasks and five boxes of hand sanitisers to the Chibolya community.
Also in attendance at the Smart Drinking Awareness event was the ward councillor, community members, influencers, and beneficiaries of Zambian Breweries’ Chibolya Media Farm initiative.
The minister and members of the community championed the brewer’s campaign message and made pledges to drink responsibly.
The #ResponsibleTogether campaign kicked off in September this year to educate people on the benefits of positive drinking habits. It has since gained traction on social media with members of the public posting their pledges to the campaign.