Bars, nightclubs continue to violate Covid-19 regulations

Phillipa Mukome-Chinhoi

Features Correspondent 

  • We will continue to monitor such areas so that they end such operations.- Police
  • Social distancing is non- existent as the patrons sit close together conversing
  • Bars in contravention of lockdown regulations and the 6pm -6am curfew

 Several beerhalls and nightclubs in Chitungwiza are violating Covid -19 regulations and continue to discreetly operate.

A survey around Zengeza 3 and 4 in the dormitory town revealed that most bars and nightclubs start their operations after 6pm, when the curfew begins.

Despite the heavy fines which were Gazetted by the government, it remains business as usual for the bar owners, most of whom are yet to be caught on the wrong side of the law.

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From what The Herald gathered over the past few weeks, it seems most bars now have loyal customers who support their business.

They have their means of communicating when a customer comes.

Upon arrival, loyal customers use a code to signal the bar workers inside who let them in.

Once inside, the doors are locked so that the patrons can freely enjoy their beer without being apprehended by the police.

As the guzzlers enjoy their drinks they seem oblivious of the risk of getting or transmitting Covid-19 as they will not be wearing any face masks.

Social distancing is non- existent as the patrons sit close together conversing. Saliva sometimes finds its way out during the process, yet they seem not to care.

One of the Zengeza 4 bar owners Collins Mashapaidze (not real name), said he had no other means of survival so would continue playing cat and mouse games with the police.

“My family needs food on the table. l have learnt to venture into other businesses like farming, but as I wait for the harvest my children need food. l will continue to operate my business,” he said.

He added that he sanitises his customers as they enter his bar and ensures a reasonable number is accommodated to permit social distancing.

However, just opening his bar and allowing people in is in contravention of lockdown regulations and the 6pm -6am curfew.

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One of the customers who only identified himself as Sekuru Nyatsanza, said he has been drinking beer ever since he was 19 and cannot to bed without drinking one or two quarts.

He said he preferred to be locked from inside while he enjoyed his drink at night.

Chitungwiza residents are not happy.  They say such illegal activities may result in community transmission of Covid-19.

Speaking during a telephone interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyati expressed concern over businesspeople who are failing to abide to lockdown regulations. He said police would continue to monitor such areas so that they end such operations.

“People are not even afraid of this deadly disease. It is worrying and disturbing that they risk their lives and those of their families just because of beer. These people are not even scared of paying fines for being imprisoned,” he said.

HERALD