‘Legalise shebeens,’ says Minister

By | June 24, 2014

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘Legalise shebeens,’ says Minister 24 June 2014 by Staff reporter

The ministry of Tourism and Hospitality is lobbying for  the legalisation of shebeens in order to lure tourists to townships as part of fulfillment of the country’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), The Zimbabwe Mail reported.

A shebeen is an informal, unlicensed establishment or a private house selling alcohol but  typically regarded as slightly disreputable. They were popular in Zimbabwe, both before and after independence.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Routes Africa Summit in Victoria Falls, Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi said his ministry was in the process of lobbying for legalisation of shebeens in a bid to attract tourists into townships.

“As part of ZimAsset, we are working on bringing back shebeens to the townships to provide entertainment and employment opportunities to our people, that is what value addition and beneficiation is all about.

“Tourists have also been confined to resort areas where a few people have continued to benefit, but we are saying our people in the townships can also benefit by attracting tourists with an upgraded shebeen concept,” said Mzembi.

Governments of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana banned shebeens after they were said to be promoting vice, especially prostitution but the initial bans were instituted by the colonial governments who sought to crack down on what they termed insurgency gatherings.

Mzembi said shebeen owners would go through the normal procedures of business licencing and applicants would be required to have minimal standard infrastructure.

“Applicants of shebeen licences should have infrastructure that will meet the general standards of a public place, including a proper toilet, so people must start building up towards this development,” said Mzembi.

In the build up to the Fifa World Cup 2010, South Africa’s Gauteng Liquor Board gave shebeen operators licences after it was noted that they attracted many tourists into the townships, especially Soweto which also has a rich history of the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

South Africa’s national rugby team, the Springboks, is also popular in Soweto’s shebeens as a way of promoting domestic tourism.

25 thoughts on “‘Legalise shebeens,’ says Minister

  1. DL

    Yet another step closer to creating that informally based economy that will unlock the goals of Zim Asset? Doubt it.

    Perhaps the headline should read, “Shebeens to Rescue Mugabe from Indigenization Own Goal?”

    1. Doctor do little

      As I said Mad people with Mad ideas. What tourist is going to come all the way to Zimbabwe to have a drink in a shabeen. First of all they are most likely to be mugged and relieved of their money.Tourists will visit Zimbabwe to see the beautiful sites and scenery the country have..

  2. petal

    Bet you Disgrace Gucci will open an upmarket shebeen and the buffoon ministers like Mzembi will be rushing to open Shebeens

    They will just create a nation of alcoholics and who will treat them with such poor heatlth facilities prevailing in the country?

  3. andy

    If they licence them presumably they think that they can tax them

  4. Africanson

    What kind of country will we be trying to build with such ideas? This not right

    1. DL

      Next they’ll try to organize begging too, so they can fund Zim Asset. Oh wait! They’re already doing that!

  5. John Thomas

    Is there any chance that this idiot spends a lot of time in shebeens?

    1. Petal

      Possibly! So you will know where to find him if he is not in his office!

  6. Roving Ambassador

    Mzembi ,probably has a few shabs lined up for himself. Farming is proving to be tough.

  7. Methinks

    I wonder whether someone has done a market research and found out that the reason tourists do not come to the so called townships is that there are no shebeens?

  8. Doris

    I thought that shebeens only sold home brew? You know, the sort that makes you blind!

  9. Kondo

    A very stupid idea from someone who has nothing to offer. Who wants to raise his/her family next to a shebeen? I am sure the very same minister would protest if his nextdoor neighbour was to open a shebeen.

  10. Mlimo

    Grace wants one so she can legally apply her trade late at night while robber sleeps

  11. Petal

    how ridiculous that is the only thing they can offer to those who are suffering what a selfish bunch of buffoons they are

  12. The Mind Boggles

    Just when you think they couldn’t possibly come up with any more mad idea’s????

  13. The Mind Boggles

    The idiot says they will be required to have a “proper toilet” has nobody informed this so called learned moron there is no water in the townships. How the F%$k can people provide a “proper toilet” for so called tourists dying to visit a shebeen when the general public can not access the most basic of human requirements??
    Where the f$%k do these people come from outer space???

  14. machakachaka

    It is morally wrong to have shebeens sprouting all over our residential areas. I don’t see how this will benefit Zimbabwe.

  15. Mukadota

    What kind of baboons do we have managing our country? We owe billions of dollars for our international loans, teachers etc cannot be paid on time, national production is collapsing; but ‘Ah, saka mashebeena will fix everything’. Is this the best economic idea these fools have?? We are doomed……..

  16. Mixed Race

    What a crazy idea,coming from a minister?Why not use Borrowdale suburb as a pilot project for this stupid idea which kills people’s morale?
    How does he intend to control noise,prostitution and other evils associated with this business?Only low class tourists would visit such places and leave more HIV to our children.

    1. Doctor do little

      Mixed Race nice to hear from you. You are 100% correct. We need more maturity from someone in his position. There is no balance in Zimbabwe’s politicians.

  17. Torai hupfumi

    No no this is not possible mr minster the openning of so many beer outlets killed the market of council beer===halls. Today several councils can not match the maquiqui with the market now you want to increase the maquiqui for them NONONO NONO not fair

  18. LUCY

    SERIOUSLY??? Tourist attactions in Zimbabwe SHEBEENS??? To come all the way from whatever country ..pay all that money only to squart at MaMoyo’s Pelandaba shebeen and drink alcohol???

    Are you just making fun of townships? is that the only thing townships can offer tourists??? really?

    Walter sometimes you strike me as a thinking person then at others you are just a toad.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *