Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has asked government to create a fair operating business environment by urgently banning alcohol sold in sachets.
Speaking at a media roundtable with business journalists in Kampala on August 30, Mark Ocitti, the managing director of UBL said some unregulated dealers are selling this packaged alcohol at Shs 600, far less than their (UBL’s) price of over Shs 1, 500 for the same quantity.
“I suspect that not all sachets are being produced in a compliant manner especially because it is easy to manufacture,” Ocitti said. “I encourage that we go into more bulky formats that will force all players to invest in quality products that meet the requisite standards.”
Government has been lamenting about banning sachets on the market in recent times but analysts doubt this can happen because of weak implementation of most of government policies.
The proliferation of unregulated alcohol sold in sachets was recently cited as the main cause of death of six people in Wakiso district with several lives put on the red line.
Ocitti views the sachet ban as part of a larger conversation around alcohol regulation.
“In particular the sachet ban deals with an issue of standardisation of packaging formats for alcohol,” he said, adding “We are pro-alcohol regulation and we are open to supporting the government to come up with balanced regulation for the industry.”
Meanwhile, Ocitti called for a concerted effort to reduce illicit alcohol from the current over 60% levels to prevent loss of government revenue and that of compliant companies in the market.