By Bernard Mpofu
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has issued a stern warning to owners of bars and night clubs, who violated Covid-19 lockdown regulations by opening to the public during the Easter holidays.
Most liquor selling outlets were operating beyond regulated hours during the holidays amid concern that Zimbabwe may face a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said operators who violated the Covid-19 regulations risked losing their operating licences, among other stiffer penalties.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police warns all beer-hall, bar and nightclub operators who breached the government’s Covid-19 regulations that arrests are being effected with appropriate action now in motion to ensure that the Liquor Licencing Board complies with the government’s stance to revoke all licences for operators, who are not complying with the law,” Nyathi said.
“Operators who defied the law during the Easter holidays in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and other towns are being dealt with.
“Police will ensure that licences confiscated are handed over to the relevant government arms for the stipulated penalties to be effected.
“The public is, therefore, urged to continue supplying information on these errant beer-hall, bar or nightclub operators for decisive action to be taken.
“Police will avail statistics on the operation in due course.”
Ahead of the Easter holidays, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced additional measures to slow down the spread of Covid-19, which stipulated that bars and night clubs will remain closed.
Zimbabwe has intensified Covid-19 vaccinations across the country’s largest cities and ports of entry despite a sluggish Covid-19 vaccine uptake.
“By end of March long queues at vaccination centres dotted around the country were now common,” Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists in Harare recently.
“Now uptake of the Sinopharm vaccine has increased significantly, following the launch of Phase 2 by His Excellency the President in Victoria Falls on 24 March 2021.
“Beneficiaries under this phase include people with pre-existing chronic conditions, the elderly and those confined to settlements and institutions, such as prisons and refugee camps.
“Work on a civil service vaccination plan is underway.”