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The owners of the stalls and ‘barracas’ selling alcoholic beverages near schools, particularly the Josina Machel Secondary School and the Commercial Institute of Maputo, are up in arms over the measure taken recently by the Municipal Council to forcibly remove them from the location.
In an interview with the Diário de Moçambique, they said it spelled the end of their business, and they could not see another place where they could restart their enterprises. In addition, they said, winning customers took a lot of time.
They recognise that they were conducting business in an unsuitable place so close to schools, but insist that theirs was the only way to provide for their families, since many of the residents knew and frequented their establishments.
They counter that the buyers of their products are not students, as has been reported, but adults.
Alexandre Filipe, a resident of Matola and father of two, said he had been selling alcoholic beverages near the Josina Machel School for six years, and this business supported him and his family.
“I don’t see anywhere else I can go. I’ve sold ‘Tentação’ and other drinks here for six years. This is my breadwinner,” he said.
“No-one sells alcohol to students,” the conversation continued. “They are not allowed to buy. We can identify them by their uniform and other things like school bags.”
Another interviewee in the same line of business and location is Samuel Anselmo, resident of Boquisso in Matola municipality and father of three. He said he had started his business there nine years ago.
“Every month I make 10,000 meticais, which guarantees my family’s subsistence. If they remove us from here or prohibit us from selling alcohol at this location, we will be the poorer for it,” he warned.
Asked if he sold drinks to students, he said, with a stern look: “Never! Nor do we want to know about students. We have our buyers.”
We also spoke to barraca owner Chinês Sumbana, with 25 years of experience in the sale of alcoholic beverages. Less impulsive, he was quick to say: “Students do not buy alcohol at our stalls. They bring the drinks with them in the bag. At the very most, they come to us to buy refreshments in order to make mixtures. They know that the sellers of the Museu will not sell them alcohol.”
Some of the baracas operate near the Josina Machel school fence and the Maputo Commercial Institute in defiance of established rules. The National Inspection of Economic Activities (INAE) says that establishments of this nature should be 50 metres away from a school. If they don’t want to move, the owners will have to change their business and sell something other than alcoholic beverages.
Schools report cases of violence involving adolescents affected by the consumption of alcohol and other prohibited substances. The exposure of children to alcoholic beverages ends up creating an appetite for them, and destroying or harming their natural development.
The Municipal Council of Maputo however intends to comply to the letter with paragraph 1 (f) of Decree No 54/2013 of 7 October, which approves mechanisms to control the marketing and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The provision prohibits the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in schools and in their immediate vicinity, whatever the sellers near Josina Machel and the Commercial Institute of Maputo might feel about it.Source: Diário de Moçambique
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