By Chris Zumani Zimba
From the time the drink was introduced on the local and regional market Power Natural High Energy Drink SX, which is manufactured by Revin Zambia was not marketed as a sexual aid. But after a Ugandan man complained it had caused him to have a prolonged erection last year in December, investigations by the Kampala health authorities found that the beverage contained sildenafil citrate – the active ingredient in Viagra. Viagra is the brand name of sildenafil citrate, the medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is normally only available on prescription.This compelled them to immediately ban the Zambian energy drink in Uganda.
In January, the company’s general manager, Vikas Kapoor, told the BBC’s Newsday programme that to the best of his knowledge, the energy drink did not contain any drugs.
But further testes in Zimbabwe and South Africa in March, 2019 confirmed the Uganda findings. “Results from both Zimbabwe and South Africa correlated with those obtained from the Foods and Drugs Laboratory that indicated a positive presence of Sildenafil Citrate,” a statement from the Zambian authorities quoted by Reuters said last week.
Consequently, the Zambian authorities are unambiguous about the test results and stressed the ban on the energy or now sex drink. Mr Jerome Kanyika who is Chief Executive Officer at Pharmaceutical Society of Zambia said that the manufacturers ought to have stated the exact quantities of sildenafil citrate so that the drink would not be sold to children, women or even men who might not want to consume it because of its properties. He added that the drink should not be sold openly in supermarkets and other public places.
However, what health authorities in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia must know is that, by banning this erection boaster energy drink which is the right move for now, they have mainly succeeded at achieving one key result: the news of the drink’s side-effects has boosted its popularity and demand among many men. The sides-effects so condemned remains the main motivation for increased demand-as many African men love ‘mutototo’ all the way until death. But the crooked scheme of selling it as in disguise an energy drink to everyone including innocent children, women and men who are rationally misinformed as well as those who do not need to use Viagra is morally unacceptable and legally wrong.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. Besides being the CEO and Managing Consultant at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Town, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:45hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles on African politics and public health. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; +260 973 153 815