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#ZimShutDown forces nightspot closures

by Bongani Ndlovu/Walter Mswazie/Leonard Ncube
07 Jul 2016 at 06:44hrs | Views
SOME Bulawayo nightspots yesterday shut down their businesses in fear of violence being unleashed by thugs affiliated to the organisers of the stayaway.

Observations by Chronicle Showbiz revealed that key night spots in the city centre, Private Lounge, The Groove, The Lounge and Pub Lagondola all closed down for business yesterday.

However, in the high density suburbs, there were some bars that were open such as Nketa 8 Sports Bar and T-Junction in New Magwegwe, while Izandla Zonke Sports Bar in New Magwegwe and Nketa Tavern in Nketa 6 were closed.

In interviews, proprietors who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were victimised by some unknown people.

"We're afraid. My car was parked outside and then some people came to me and asked why I was at work? They said if I open I shall suffer the consequences. So I decided to close the bar and I'll open tomorrow".

Another nightspot owner who operates in the high density areas said they shut down because they wanted to prevent criminals using the veil of darkness to perpetrate their crimes.

"The match between Portugal and Wales might finish late and this can pose serious security concerns. Although there're patrons who will come and drink peacefully, we decided to close down to protect them. Some criminal elements might use the night to harass our regulars," said the proprietor.

"The situation in the morning was dire. Three quarters of my staff couldn't make it to work and now I'm hearing that transport is $2. So to be on the safe side I decided to close shop. When people loot I won't be able to recover the stock I would've lost," said another bar owner.

The few people who braved the stay away and took the day as a holiday to binge were dealt a major blow as most bottle stores such as Watering Hole, Cassy's, Bootleggers and Haddon & Sly Liquorama were closed. Even the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo was closed.

Those who had hoped to visit family were also not spared as most service stations were shut.

Meanwhile, in Masvingo most beer halls and drinking spots were operational as owners were assured of security by police.

Manhede Beer Hall owner in Mucheke Suburb, Enjura Sozinyu, said the situation was tricky in the morning but they braved and opened the outlet with the police's blessings.

"We're open and will close at our normal time because we've been assured of total security by police. Since morning, we were open and we'll continue opening without any problem," said Sozinyu.

Chiororo Beer Hall manager in Target Kopje Suburb, Cosmos Dube, said their outlet was open the whole day despite reports of unconfirmed violence.

"We were open as usual despite receiving reports of planned violence. When we saw police coming we thought they were going to order us to close but instead they assured us of security. We aren't facing any problem and I've communicated with my counterpart in Eastvale Medium Density Suburb, she is also operating," said Dube.

In Victoria Falls, bars were open as usual in the suburbs while in town, Imvuvu and Liquorama were closed in the morning and opened later in the day. Most drinking spots in town employed a wait and see method as staff were inside the premises while doors were closed until midday when they opened.

Source - chronicle