As the world grapples to fight the novel coronavirus, more popularly known as COVID-19, most countries have enforced nationwide lockdowns in a desperate attempt to contain the pandemic. This has seen most economic activity deemed inessential coming to a halt.
Southern African countries like Botswana and South Africa have totally prohibited the sale of liquor in all the retail outlets in a drastic effort to slow the spread of the virus, citing that imbibers pose a threat to the success of the lockdown.
So far, the draconian clampdown on the sale of alcohol has disastrous results. Out of desperation, some locals have broken into liquor stores and stolen alcoholic beverages. South Africa has the highest number of such cases. The ban has also created a new enthusiasm for home brewing.
More recently, in Botswana, a man was caught red-handed brewing alcohol at his house. A video broadcasted on national television, B TV, showed buckets of the illicit homebrewed ‘Hunters Gold liquor’ which was meant for resale. Although it’s not known if the liquor tasted like the real thing, it was reported to have been selling like hotcakes, probably because of its potency.
This comes at a time there has been a surge of online searches of easy methods to brew your own beer using some ingredients. In the video snippet (watch below), recorded on the crime scene, a police officer shows how the illicit brew was being prepared. The news broadcaster also reveals key ingredients, brown-colored sugar, yeast, Five Roses teabags, and water, that the police found at the scene.
But since the nationwide lockdown came into force in both Southern African countries to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there has been a growing black market for alcohol the demand rises. In the previous week, Botswana local paper, Mmegi revealed that a quart that has been going for a normal of P20 in the bars is presently being sold at a staggering P40 in many shebeens nationwide.
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