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Council shuts 42 bars in Luanshya

THE Luanshya Municipal Council has shut down 42 bars found open beyond the normal operating hours.
Luanshya Municipal Council public relations manager Gideon Thole said in an interview yesterday that the 42 bars were closed during an operation in Mikomfwa, Roan and Mpatamatu townships on Tuesday.
“We have shut down the bars that were found operating at awkward hours. We have also intensified our patrols on restaurants to ensure that they conform to health standards. We do not want restaurant owners to compromise on health standards during this rainy season,” Mr Thole said.
He said the municipality will intensify operations to ensure bars and taverns operate within stipulated working hours.
Mr Thole warned that the local authority will not allow bars and taverns to operate like nightclubs during this festive season.
He also said the local authority wants to ensure that there is order and peace in the district as people celebrate Christmas.
“We are not going to rest, we will make sure that bars and taverns operate within the stipulated time, because during this festive season, some bars and taverns do not close and this brings about disorder in the district,” he said.
Meanwhile, some bar and tavern operators whose buildings were shut down because they were found operating during awkward hours complained that council police officers who carried out the operation were allegedly selective in their duties.
One of the affected bar owners, Clifford Musonda said some taverns that were found operating as early as 06:00 hours were spared in the operation.
“Some bars which were operating as early as 06:00 hours were not closed maybe it is because the owners of those bars work for the council or have some connections at civic centre. This is not fair,” Mr Musonda complained.
And some people found taking alcohol at a named bar at about 07:00 hours threatened to beat up council police officers if they dared to stop them from drinking beer.
They claimed that they take beer in the morning because they are jobless.