“Going to bars and shebeens during the Easter holiday is not the right thing to do,” said Father Veranus Shiimi, the Director of Communication of the Catholic Church in Namibia.
Speaking to New Era on the meaning of Easter, Shiimi said that from the church’s perspective Easter is a time to stay away from alcohol.
People should rather use the period for self-reflection and to acknowledge that Jesus died for the sins of humanity.
“If there are family members who are holding grudges they can use that time to reconcile,” said Shiimi. He added: “Jesus came to save us from our sins and for that he had to die so that we can have new life. Easter means Christ is alive.”
Shiimi said that for devout Christians Easter has not lost its meaning. “Many people take it as a normal event which happens every year and that doesn’t make a change in the lives of people but for those who have faith it is a time for new life and reflection,” explained Shiimi. Reverend Winifred van Rooi-Baumann of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa said Easter is not a “normal” long holiday for people to travel. “It’s a time to recommit to Jesus and acknowledge that was the time he died for our sins,” said Van Rooi-Baumann.
Reverend Sharné van Der Walt of the Dutch Reformed Church said that Easter is a celebration of life and hope. “It’s about the crucifixion and resurrection,” said Van Der Walt.
Meanwhile, Nampa reported that the Otjozondjupa Police announced that they will strictly enforce the ban on the sale of all types of alcohol on public holidays.
Spokesperson of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the region, Warrant Officer Maureen Mbeha on Wednesday told Nampa the ban on the sale of alcohol is fully backed by the law.
Mbeha cited the Public Holiday’s Act of 1990 No. 26, which declares public holidays as ‘closed days’ for the sale of alcohol. On such days, shebeens and bars are not supposed to operate at all.
Public holidays are on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Workers’ Day, Cassinga Day, Ascension Day, Africa Day, Heroes’ Day, International Human Rights Day, Christmas Day, and Family Day.