MBABANE: Mbongeni Mbingo, the controversial editor of the ‘State’ owned Swazi Observer Group of Newspapers concluded his Sunday opinion article by stating that alcohol contributes to the spread of COVID-19 hence he supports the decision to ban it.
This comes after reports suggesting that King Mswati was frustrating Eswatini Beverages investors after learning that the industry was generating more money but few millions reached his pocket through shares and the traditional practice known as kwetfula(presenting gifts to the King).
But the controversial editor in another article that demonstrates double-standards, first pretended to be blaming government over the alcohol ban before declaring support for the ban in the last paragraph of his article published on Sunday.
“Before I go on, however, I need to also state that I am in full agreement with the notion that the drinking of alcohol contributes to the high risks associated with spreading the COVID-19. Therefore, as a means to curb the infection rate, it makes sense that the sale of alcohol would have been banned" said the editor.
Thamsanqa Hlatswako, the Secretary General of the Swaziland National Liquor Association had earlier told this Swaziland News that the ban affected many business that were forced to shut down.
"Government failed to provide convincing reasons why alcohol remain banned, many businesses has been forced to shut down , it might take over ten(10) years to restore this industry" said the liquor.
On or around 16th September 2020, Eswatini Beverages Corporate Affairs department released a statement through the digital media that demonstrated the company's frustrations over the ban.
"If it continues , it will contribute to the growing poverty, hunger and mortality rates in the very communities it aims to protect. Thousands of people are at risk right now. It's not just people at big alcohol brands that will suffer, this will have devastating effects on small haven owners, restaurant employees, bars and liquor stores as well as SMMEs, packaging and logistics companies across Eswatini. We urgently need to find a solutions and we are ready to help" read the statement from Eswatini Beverages.
State editor Mbongeni Mbingo