Bar violates lockdown regulations

A BAR in Victoria Falls has been selling beer to sit-in patrons in violation of lockdown regulations where sale of alcohol at public outlets is prohibited.

President Mnangagwa recently extended the Level 4 national lockdown by another two weeks, from February 14, following a spike in Covid-19 infections and deaths.

Under the lockdown, all public gatherings remain banned with funeral gatherings still restricted to 30 people.

Churches remain banned and so is any form of public gathering for social, sporting or any other purpose.

Sectors of the economy not specified as essential remain closed with those that want to resume operations expected to first test their employees in compliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols.

However, Hyper Superette located at Mukali Business Centre in Mkhosana seems to be “self-exempted” as the premises sell both groceries and beer.

A Chronicle news crew has been observing over time that at any given time there is an average of between 40 and 50 patrons gathered under tree sheds, with others playing snooker.

They will be drinking various kinds of beer including the illicit Broncleer, Zed and Tetankau usually smuggled from Zambia at the backyard spot, oblivious of the danger of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

While Hyper Superette is legally allowed to operate as an essential grocery services provider, the drinking spot is prohibited according to lockdown rules.

Some of the patrons said they were not breaking the law as they were drinking outside the shop.

“We buy and sit here to drink so we can’t be said to be breaking any regulation,” said one imbiber.

Asked whether they were not scared of the virus, another one said they were practising social distancing and wearing masks although few of them had masks on.

Hyper Superette operator Ms Vimbai Nene said none of the patrons were allowed to drink on the premises.

“I am operating the shop and have put sanitisers as well as a temperature check point. As for those drinking beer, I can’t control them. All I do is sell them beer and I don’t allow them to drink in the shop. My licence allows me to sell beer because it is a superette but I make sure they don’t drink on the premises,” she said, although the patrons were gathered just behind her shop.

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