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ONAPITO: Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill an attack on treasury and freedom to socialise

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Alcohol manufacturers in Uganda have expressed reservations on the proposed Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill saying it is “diversionary” and “regressive.”

In another stakeholders’ meeting with the drafter of the bill Sarah Opendi on Wednesday, the Chairperson of Uganda Alcohol Industry Association Onapito Ekomoloit said the bill should instead target 65 percent of illicit alcohol in the market. 

He said the draft bill is an attack on freedom to socialise, an attack on farmers and the treasury.

“Anything in the bill which reduces our ability to sell is an attack on the treasury; It’s an attack on jobs. The alcohol industry contributes about a trillion shilling to the economy…Alcohol should be made freely available for all adults,” Onapito said.

“We noticed in the proposed bill there’s a lot of restrictions, like the one on trading hours. We think this is anti-freedom. You’re limiting people’s ability to socialize, and yet Uganda is a land of freedom.”

Onapito, who is also the Nile Breweries Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, added that “this bill should focus on illicit alcohol, which is 65% of all the alcohol consumed in Uganda. Separate the illicit from the regulated alcohol.”

Onapito speaks at the stakeholders meet today. PHOTO PARLIAMENT MEDIA

On 8th November 2022, House granted leave of Parliament to Sarah Opendi (Tororo District) to table this private member’s bill. The bill also seeks to regulate the promotion and advertisement of alcoholic drinks.

“Let us separate Alcohol consumption  and Alcohol Abuse,” Onapito charged, “because as a business we are never proud when alcohol is abused and the responsible code is aimed at ensuring that the products are not abused by consumers and manufacturers.”

A day earlier, Pastor Julius Oyet had proposed that the time for sale and consumption of alcohol should be from 4pm to 10pm. The bill proposes noon to 6am.

Pastor Joseph Sserwadda of Victory Christian Church Ministries suggested that the time should be from 4pm to midnight.


SOURCE: Parliament media



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  1. Chairperson, Uganda Alcoholic Industry:

    With dew respect

    Do you dedicate a specific amount of money to sustaining rehabilitation centers? Support of families left stranded?

    We are not disagreeing with all that you say but having lived with ” alcohol” for 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year for 15 years; taking in a steady but sure transformation of a human from useful to an excuse of a person

    There is another side of the coin

  2. Please pass that bill.
    Unrestricted acohol consumption has been disturbing Ugandans and hindering Uganda’s development for too long. Imagine talking about treasury and jobs, yet unrestricted alcohol consumption has rendered millions jobless, caused countless students to drop out, prevented many workers from saving money, caused chronic poverty, reduced productivity and effectiveness of the labour force, worsened the spread of sexually transmitted infections, placed undue strain on our already strained health facilities, triggered addictions and mental illness, fueled crime, increased domestic violence including child abuse and neglect, caused alcohol related deaths including road accidents… and many more terrible things.
    This cannot continue being normalized.
    Please pass the bill.
    For God and my Country.

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