Illegal bars, brothels closed in Choma

CHOMA Municipal Council (CMC) has closed 23 bars, two suspected brothels and a nightclub in Choma’s Batoka and Harmony areas for operating illegally.
A team of Zambia Police, council officers and health inspectors led by Choma district commissioner Sheena Muleya on Wednesday swung into action and closed down the illegal facilities.
Ms Muleya said the bars were closed for operating illegally and below minimum health standards.
“We have had a lot of complaints from the public about this place due to the increasing number of illegal bars. Bars are supposed to operate outside and not within markets as they pose a health hazard if not well maintained,” Ms Muleya said.
She said the bars posed a health risk to the people because they did not have toilets.
She urged people to follow procedure by acquiring liquor and trading licences from the local authority to legalise their operations.
Batoka market committee chairperson George Sililo said: “We have been facing this bar problem since 2013 and we had a meeting with the bar owners and some of them were closed but in no time, they re-opened. We were even seeing pupils coming to the market and patronising these bars.”
CMC health inspector Stephen Musumali said people avoided applying for liquor licences because their structures are poor and do not meet minimum health standards.
Mr Musumali said health inspectors will continue conducting random inspections to ensure trading places comply with the law.

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