Council to crack down on bar owners over opening hours

LUSAKA City Council (LCC) will continue to prosecute bar owners who do not abide by the law and conduct business in a manner that inconveniences other residents, says council public relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda.

Residents of Lusaka’s Kaunda Square Stage 11 have complained of bars which opened as early as 06 hours. They have asked the council to shut down all the night clubs in the area that operated illegally and revoke licences of bars that allowed underage drinking.

Manda Chanda, a resident, told the Daily Nation that early opening of bars was worrying because it encouraged women and youths to start drinking as early as 06 hrs and leaving bars at awkward hours.

He said the situation had also contributed to high levels of immorality and crime because youths and women were busy patronizing bars, adding that police should intensify night patrols in the area.

A parent and resident Chali Chomba said noisy pollution and underage drinking was a great challenge because bars remained open throughout the night and people were moving about at awkward times in search of beer.

“The biggest problem is that children in most compounds such as Kamanga are slowly becoming thugs and thieves due to alcohol abuse. The council should introduce a policy of producing NRCs when entering the bar. This will reduce the number of underage alcohol abusers,” he said.

He advised parents and guardians to guide their children in every aspect of life as they interacted with them on a daily basis.

The residents have since appealed to LCC to quickly intervene and put strict measures to ensure bar owners adhered to the law.

And Mr Mulunda said the council will soon assign a team of investigators to go on the ground and assess the situation, adding that the council would not tolerate those who would not cooperate and abide by the prescribed bye-laws.

He said culprits would be prosecuted because there was a law in place which stipulated what time bars and nightclubs should open and close.

Mr Mulunda said the legal time for opening and closing of bars had not changed and still stood at 10 hours in the morning and 22 hours in the evening. He emphasised that the local authority would continue sensitising members of the public on various issues concerning the operations of the council.

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