Local Government and Housing Minister Nkandu Luo announced on Sunday the ban on manufacture, sale and distribution of the sachets after signing a Statutory Instrument on Liquor Licensing (intoxicating liquor quantities and packaging) regulation 2012 on the banning of Tujilijili.
Police mounted an operation in the busy Central Province location which is usually teeming with traders both on the streets and stalls, and seized 17 bundles of 50 kilogrammes each containing 2,000 sachets for sale.
Central Province Commissioner of police Solomon Jere said the sachets were confiscated on Tuesday around 20:00 hours.
Dr Jere said police swung into action in the town centre, but the traders scampered abandoning their merchandise.
“I want to confirm that we have confiscated 17x50kg bundles of Tujilijili following an operation but we did not manage to apprehend any person because the owners managed to run away, leaving their merchandise behind, ” he said.
Penalties for people, who would contravene the ban, include a jail term of up to two years.
There has been an outcry from members of the public about the sale of Tujilijili as it is highly-intoxicating, while some people have died after consuming it in large quantities.
Meanwhile, Duncan and Gilbey Matheson, one of the producers of pre-packed spirits has complained over the decision by Government to ban the sale of the commodity as several firms closed down.
Company Chief Executive Officer Mannifred Ngweza said the Government should have consulted the industry before taking such a “drastic” move.
Mr Ngweza said his company and other industries which were manufacturing the pre packed spirits employed hundreds of people who would be left jobless.
“For instance my company contributes about K200 million per month to the ZRA revenue collection through various taxes,” he said.
He said the company had been involved in the production of Tot packs from 1981 and maintained that there had not been any person that had died after consuming the spirits.
Several companies that manufacture Tujilijili in Ndola have remained shut, with only guards manning the gates.
At Silver Spirits the guard said the company had been closed following Government’s ban of the sale of Tujilijili and that the last stocks were in the warehouse.
He said Silver Spirits manufactures sachets such as Royal Touch, Kick Spirit, Red Wine and Seven PM which management had locked up in the warehouse.
Meanwhile, management had placed a notice on the gate that the company had been closed for an indefinite period.
The situation at Champion Industries and Zen Industries which manufactures Hero and Goal sachets was the same as some workers were seen milling around the premises.
Amazon Industries managing director Kiaren Cadera said he had closed the plant awaiting a response from all manufacturers who were expected to respond to the Government’s decision to ban the sachets.
Mr Cadera said all manufacturers were supposed to meet so that they could present a common position to the Government.
[Times of Zambia]