If you’ve been listening to Yo Maps’ Ni bweze ku moba and you want to cool down with a beer – calm down if you’re in Chipata. Although bars have partially opened to run from 18:00 hours onward, there’s a serious shortage of beer in the town.
Some Chipata residents who imbibe on the regular have complained over the scarcity of their favourite beverage. As it is currently, there’s a town wide shortage of Mosi and Black Label lagers. Castle lager is readily available but doesn’t happen to be a favourite for most locals.
Initially, 375mls bottles of Black Label and Mosi lagers were priced at K10 per bottle. But ,as the scarcity came in, the price got hiked to K12. Similarly, 750mls bottles were priced at K16 but have been hiked to K20. However, the price hike isn’t much of a concern to most customers.
The main problem is that Mosi and Black Label have become so scarce that customers have to go on a “beer hunt” to find them. A beer hunt simply means that they’ve to move around to town just to find a bar which has the beer brands in stock. Even if they find the beer, 750mls are what seem to be more available than the usual 375mls. Forcing customers to use cups. Another complaint is that 750ml bottles attract freeloaders popularly known as ba lwanda.
When asked what’s causing the shortage, bartenders and owners seem to point to the official local authorized distributor. Below is what a bar owner said:
” There’s little or no alcohol at the depot and this is probably due to a new middleman depot at Mwami border. The depot there is ordering in bulk from the local distributor and is reselling at a higher price.”
Reasons behind the shortage aren’t quite clear but the fact of the matter is that Chipata residents want their beer.
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