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Imbibers play cat and mouse with police at shebeens, bars

by Staff reporter
24 Dec 2021 at 07:25hrs | Views
MORE than 100 people have been arrested since Tuesday for violating Covid-19 protocols by mainly drinking at bars and shebeens after curfew hours.

On Tuesday, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga issued a strong warning to bars and shebeens operating outside the law.

Zimbabwe is under a level two lockdown and businesses are supposed to close at 7PM.

The curfew runs from 9PM to 6AM.

A drive around Bulawayo revealed that some bars, nightclubs and shebeens in and around the city are operating at full throttle with others holding shows that stretch into the wee hours of the morning.

Police are raiding the bars and shebeens after 7pm but many of them reopen soon after the police leave.

Bulawayo police provincial spokesperson, Inspector Abednego Ncube has conceded that operators of some nightspots and shebeens are defiant despite police raids.

"We keep on raiding but some bars and shebeens reopen soon after we leave and we are contemplating prosecuting the owners instead of just arresting revellers.

"We have a problem with a shebeen in Old Magwegwe, it's being raided regularly but it continues to operate.

"We need cooperation from the community and residents of Old Magwegwe are having problems because of this shebeen," said Insp Ncube.

Recently residents of Suburbs in the city wrote a letter to the Bulawayo City Council complaining that a night spot in the area is depriving them of their sleep and its activities threaten their security as it opens until the wee hours of the morning.

The residents said they did not understand why the nightspot is allowed to violate curfew hours.

The BCC threatened to revoke the night spot's licence and a show with two South African artistes which was billed for the nightspot had to be moved at the last minute to the outskirts of the city.

Insp Ncube said police will continue arresting people who violate the regulations and so far more than a 100 have been arrested.

"We will enforce the lockdown regulations as directed by Commissioner General of Police.

"We are warning those that continue to be defiant that they will not only be arrested but will also be prosecuted including bar owners and shebeen queens.

"They shouldn't cry foul when we descend on them," said Insp Ncube.

Source - The Chronicle