Gulu Khadi Faults Gulu Mayor For Frustrating Implementation of Gulu Alcohol Ordinance

Gulu Khadi Musa Khelil is not impressed by the enforcement of the Gulu Alcoholic Drinks Control Ordinance

By Uma Patrick

Gulu district Khadi and Vice Chairman of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ALPI), Sheik Musa Khelil on Thursday stormed the office of the Gulu municipality Mayor George Labeja demanding an explanation why the mayor had failed to provide officers to enforce the Gulu district Alcohol ordinance.

Musa Khelil pointed out that there is a lack of coordination between the office of the Mayor, the Gulu local government and the Police to enforce the ordinance which was passed by the Gulu district council in 2015.

‘’I think there is a lack of coordination. And this coordination must be improved on  between the District and the Municipality leadership because implementation of this ordinance requires working together,’’ said Khelil.

The Gulu district Alcohol Ordinance stipulates that the that the police should work with enforcement officers from the four divisions in Gulu municipality to implement the ordinance but according to the district Official, there are insufficient personnel in the police to do the work.

The ordinance which was widely hailed around the country bans the sale of sachet Waragi and regulates time of opening bars and drinking joints. Among others it is aimed at boosting productivity among young people who are said to spend most of their time drinking cheap waragi said to be detrimental to their health.

When contacted, Gulu Mayor George refuted the allegations that he had declined to provide enforcement officers. Instead Mr Labeja said, implementation of the ordinance is not well coordinated and should be widened.

”I always say we should not concentrate with our operation in only one area because some people will say this ordinance is targeting only few people and not everybody,’’ the Mayor told Acholi Times.

The Mayor said enforcement officers are available but they have to be informed on time for any work relating to enforcement of the ordinance.

‘’I don’t own the enforcement Officers because they are staff of the municipal who are always busy collecting revenue and if any committee wants them, they should write to them[enforcement officers] and notify them early.’’

The Gulu Alcoholic Drinks Control Ordinance came out of a movement of religious groups and community leaders to address the scourge resulting from alcohol abuse. The district is however facing challenges in enforcement of the ordinance due to inadequate human resource, resistance from the alcohol lobby and sachet Waragi dealers, something that is suspected to scare some political leaders in Gulu for enforcing the ban to the dot.