The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Zimbabwe party has urged the government to prohibit the sale of illicit alcohol popularly known as ‘njengu’ on the streets, arguing that is destroying the lives of both young and old people across the country.
Packaged as whisky, gin, and vodka, njengu has flooded many townships across the country in recent years and is sold for US$1, gaining popularity especially during the Covid-19 lockdown period when bars and bottle stores were closed.
It is preferred by many due to its high alcohol content, which is said to be 40 percent.
“Our community is dying, people are killing themselves because of this thing where you hear people asking each other, ‘ikhona yini’ (is it available) or you hear them say, ‘ulayo’ (do you have it).’ They are talking about njengu. Njengu is killing our parents in the villages, our brothers and sisters across the country,” said EFF Zimbabwe party leader, Innocent Ndibali recently in Bulawayo.
Ndibali said the government must act fast to ban the product from the markets and streets.
“The government must do something and very quickly. You may not see the harm that is happening caused by njengu. It started about three to five years ago but in the next 10 years you will see people are going to be falling like flies because of this njengu,” said the party leader.
“Please leave njengu alone because you are going to die and leave your children. Njengu is destroying communities. I don’t know if journalists have seen this but let’s do something about it. Let’s call on the leadership to do something about this problem.”
A man from Gwanda was reported to have died after drinking njengu in June.