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BARS DEFY BAN

By CHARLES MUSONDA

GOVERNMENT  directive to have bars and night clubs only operate from Friday 18:00 to Sunday 22:00 hours has fallen on deaf ears as bar owners defied the ban and kept their shops open selling alcohol to the swelling number of revelers beyond the stipulated time.

A check by the Daily Nation at selected bars in Lusaka found that a number of drinking premises were open despite being directed not to operate, with some entities going  to the extent of locking patrons inside to avoid being discovered and shut down.

A check by the Daily Nation at selected bars in Lusaka found that a number of drinking premises were open despite being directed not to operate, with some entities going  to the extent of locking patrons inside to avoid being discovered and shut down.

However, Local Government permanent Secretary Mathew Ngulube said nightclubs and other similar facilities are still closed although some owners have defied government’s ban.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Ngulube said the closure is still in force subject to review and those operating  the facilities beyond the stipulated period are doing it illegally.

He said there are a number of factors that government needs to consider like the infection rate of Covid-19 cases before reviewing the decision.

He said the closure is expected to be in force until next week and appealed to the Zambia Police Service and other relevant authorities to enforce the closure.

A survey conducted in Lusaka yesterday revealed that some bar owners have defied the ban with others fully opening their premises in disregard of the government’s directive to close their joints for 14 days with effect from last month.

Last month Government directed the closure of bars, nightclubs, casinos and schools for 21 days among other heightened interventions to mitigate further escalation of Covid-19 cases in Zambia.

Secretary to Cabinet Simon Miti said the move had been necessitated by poor adherence to Covid-19 guidelines among the public, thereby worsening the pandemic’s situation.

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