RESIDENTS of Chimwemwe township in Kitwe are worried at the increasing number of shebeens (illegal bars in residential areas) most of which have no toilets and are operating in filthy environment.
The residents said they were disappointed that the Kitwe City Council (KCC) had failed to curb the increasing number of shebeens which were also contributing to negative vices in townships.
But KCC public relations manager Dorothy Sampa expressed ignorance about the mushrooming of illegal bars in homes in Chimwemwe and advised the residents in the area to make a formal complaint to the local authority, instead of taking the matter to the media.
A resident Sydney Chibiya said the increasing number of shebeens in Chimwemwe township was a source of concern among the residents, especially that they were operating in filthy environment. Mr Chibiya said most of the notorious shebeens were on Nangwenya Road, off Chibungulubwe road, and on Kanwe Drive where ‘‘all sorts of immorality was taking place’’.
He said despite the matter being reported to the local authority, nothing had been done to stop the increasing number of shebeens in the township which was leading to moral decay.
‘‘The mushrooming of shebeens in Chimwemwe is disgusting. To make matters worse, these shebeens have no toilets and are operating in a filthy environment. You find a situation where if a person wants to pass water, they simply turn their back on those drinking beer and starts to do what they want.
“So, it is a situation where the smell of urine mixes with the smell of beer like Shake Shake, Bols, Wine and even Kachasu. I am telling you it is filthy. The most disturbing thing is that these Shebeens play loud music and when it comes to insults, if they insult you, it is like they have already undressed you and they are just reading your body,” Mr Chibiya said.
He said repeated reports to the local authority had fallen on deaf ears and those who own the Shebeens claimed to be untouchables in the area. A visit to various Shebeens in Chimwemwe by the Daily Nation on Friday evening found some drunkards playing loud music, some blocked the road and whoever wanted to pass had to seek permission from them.
But, when asked why the council had failed to stop the increasing shebeens in the area, Ms Sampa expressed ignorance about the mushrooming shebeens in Chimwemwe .
She advised the residents in the area to make a formal complaint to the local authority so that it could move in to stop the mushrooming shebeens in the area, instead of taking the matter to the media.
“I am not aware about that. I am hearing that from you for the first time. I think tell those people who are complaining to you to come and complain to the council. If they had complained to the council before, then certainly it is not to this office. Such kind of things should be reported to my office.
“If they take that matter to the media, you will just do the story and that will be all. The problem will not be sorted out. If they come to report to my office, I will withhold their names. I will not expose them,” Ms Sampa said.