Chief Mnkhanya of the Kunda people in Mambwe District says most young people in his chiefdom have become unproductive because they have taken to drinking Kachasu, an illicit local beer.
And the Chief has since asked government to consider enforcing a complete ban on brewing of Kachasu.
The traditional ruler bemoaned wide spread abuse of Kachasu especially among the youths in Mambwe, and said there is need to enforce tough laws that will stop the brewing and consumption of illicit Kachasu beer.
He lamented that many young people in his Chiefdom are indulging in drinking Kachasu senselessly instead of engaging themselves in productive activities such as farming.
“Kachasu has destroyed a lot of lives especially that of young people. It has contributed to high levels of laziness among youths because those who drink it, no longer have the energy to carry out any productive activities. Kachasu is no different from weed or chamba,” he said.
Chief Mnkhanya was speaking when Eastern province Permanent Secretary Veronica Mwiche paid a courtesy call on him.
The Chief wondered why Government cannot outlaw the brewing of Kachasu which, apart from contributing to as brood of unproductive youths, has made young people to drop out of school.
He also mentioned that heavy indulgence in drinking “Kachasu” has made young people to show total disrespect towards their parents and guardians.
Chief Mnkhanya pointed out that there is need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to help put an end to the brewing of Kachasu if development has to take place in his chiefdom
The Chief also called on government to see how best it can help in reducing the high poverty levels being experienced in the district due to the floods that washed away crops early this year.
He told the Permanent Secretary that his people are hard-working and they do cultivate crops, but due to natural disasters such as floods and drought as well as having their crops being eaten by wild animals, they are now languishing in poverty.
The Chief called on government to find a way of helping to compensate people whose crops get eaten by animals.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Ms Mwiche explained that alcohol abuse especially among youths is one of the challenges that government is working hard to control.
Ms Mwiche further appealed to the chief to use his authority and come up with by – laws against the brewing of Kachasu.
She also urged the Chief to engage with the Council in the district to see how best the problem of alcohol abuse especially among young people can be controlled.
And the PS added that government is aware of the food problems the people of Mambwe are facing and will do its level best to come to their aid.