By Mailesi Banda
GOVERNMENT should make it mandatory for all manufacturers of alcohol to be registered with the Zambia Association of Manufactures (ZAM) for them to fight illicit alcohol trade, ZAM president Rosetta Chabala has said.
Ms Chabala said for ZAM to assist Government fight illicit alcohol trade and ensure revenue leakages to the government are minimised it was important for them to consider implementing the proposal.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, Ms Chabala said there was need for more collaboration among the relevant stakeholders to ensure a level playing field in the alcoholic beverages subsector.
“Due to the fact that importers of spirits and other liquors are not registered with any organisation that is capable of monitoring them and ensuring they are not only aware of responsible practices but also adhering to such practices, they are prone to engaging in irresponsible industry behavior such as illicit trade, “Ms Chabala said.
She said illicit trade has affected the growth of the local alcohol producers as their market is taken by illicit traders.
She noted that additionally, there was need for the traders posing to be manufacturers of alcohol and damaging the name of the sector to be prosecuted adding that this could best be done.
She explained that illicit trade remained a major challenge for the growth of the local manufacturing industry adding that with the right policies and obligations for the sector more companies would flourish.
“The greatest hindrance to the growth of the Zambian manufacturing industry is illicit trade which has continued to be a hindrance to the growth of the local manufacturing industry and the only way the economy can diversify to manufacturing is through the implementation of supportive legislation,” Ms Chabala said.