A drink imported mostly from Zambia known as kampucha or kombucha is not a soft drink as purported but has an alcohol content of 8.5% which is twice that of beer, the Member of Parliament for Shamva South Joseph Mapiki told Parliament yesterday.
Mapiki, who made history in the August elections by polling the highest number of votes as an individual candidate in the country, called on Zimbabwe to come up with stringent laws on the importation of illicit alcohol.
He said a drink called kambwa has an alcohol content of 65% while opaque beer has only 4%.
“The sale of an illicit brew popularly known as kambwa at dollar for two, which has 65% alcohol content, should not be entertained at all, more so, when opaque beer only has 4% and is sold at a dollar each,” he said.
“Madam Speaker, we are no longer sure of where the West is going to end in its efforts for regime change in Zimbabwe. You will recall that the Deputy President of Zambia was the leader of the SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM) and he gave a damning report as he was furthering the interest of the West.
“As Zimbabwe, we could have walked into a war unaware, which is coming in the form of drug abuse by our children who are below the ages of 15, as they now abuse crystal methyl and other drugs. As a country, we must put our heads together and tame this challenge.
“There has also been an advent of drinks whose alcohol content is understated and comes from other countries via Zambia as a distribution point. Our customs and excise officials should be vigilant because a few days ago, Zambia gave a communique to the fact that a Kambucha drink which was being sold in Zimbabwe did not have 0.005% alcohol content, but instead had 8.5%.
“This has led to members of the Marange Apostolic Faith inadvertently drinking alcohol due to this misleading information.”
A search for kampucha yields kombucha which is a fermented tea with numerous health benefits. Its alcohol content is said to be 0.5%.
The drink on the streets is a mixture of kombucha tea and ginger. Kompucha tea and ginger are supposed to be a beverage but the drink on the streets is intoxicating.