WINDHOEK Although the Namibia Shebeen Association argues that shebeens are there to create jobs for the unemployed Namibians, Women’s Action for Development (WAD) feels the uncontrolled selling of liquor continues to destroy the Namibian society. WAD views the shebeen sector as an industry that offers a very small number of jobs to unemployed Nami-bians, but which cannot be compared to the harm caused by shebeens to society. Shebeens “merely offer employment to a minute fraction of the Namibian population. This should be weighed against the countless thousands of lives of Namibian citizens that are being ruined by the uncontrolled sale of liquor and who fall prey to the evils of alcoholism and drug abuse”, WAD says in a statement signed by its Executive Director Veronica de Klerk and the Regional Chairpersons of Women’s Voices. The statement adds that the demands of shebeen owners cannot be compared to the uncontrolled and continuous toppling of the social structures and the plight of those citizens who fall victim to the devastating consequences of the uncontrolled sale of liquor. Shebeens have in most communities across the country led to lack of adequate food for families, and the exposure of children to alcohol due to failure of shebeen owners to restrict the selling of alcohol. Liquor outlets have further contributed to serious public disturbances caused by intoxicated shebeen revellers late at night. Cases of domestic violence that are closely linked to alcohol abuse and the spread of the deadly HIV/AIDS by way of steady increases in rape or consensual sex between infected intoxicated people all have their roots in shebeens. “The plight of the impoverished masses cannot be auctioned off against the recent protestations about unemployment of illegal shebeen owners who are merely enriching themselves at the expense of the poor,” WAD maintained. Considering that the poor are voiceless and rely on lawmakers and law enforcers for protection, the organisation has no doubt that President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who is the highest custodian of the moral values of the Namibian citizenry, will safeguard and protect such values.