By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Solwezi Fast Track court has found Tito shop owner guilty of gathering more than five people in his shop against provisions of law and observing social distance.
Tito Kalama 55, owner of Tito Shop situated in Kyawama did not follow government’s emphasis on the need for citizens to observe social distancing as one of the most effective preventive measures against the Coronavirus.
Kalama appeared before Principal Resident Magistrate Davies Chibwili last week on April 8 2020, where it was established that the accused was found selling liquor in his Retail shop without a Liquor License and allowed gathering of more than 5 people in his shop between March 27 and April 7 2020.
Statutory Instrument No. 22 of 2020 The Public Health (Infected areas) (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulations Section 9 stipulates that a public ceremony or gathering of more than five persons, not being a family shall not be held without the written permission of the Local Authority.
In his ruling, Magistrate Chibwili found the accused guilty of the charge indicating that he intentionally put people’s lives at risk and deliberately disregarded the law.
Magistrate Chibwili passed judgement and fined Kalama K750.00 in accordance with the law, failure to which he would be imprisoned for one month.
He warned the accused not to play with the issues, especially matters of Public Health as he risked being jailed for a long time.
The charge against Kalama in which he was found selling Liquor without displaying a Liquor License was withdrawn as the accused provided evidence that he had a valid Retail Liquor License.
Solwezi Municipal Council Assistant Public Relations Manager Esther Chirwa said the Local Authority is sending a stern warning to would be offenders to respect laws of the country.
Ms Chirwa said that the Local Authority working with Zambia Police has continued conducting patrols in the district to see to it that business owners observe the Presidential directives.
She said the Council reiterates its call for total adherence to the directives given in order to safeguard lives of the Solwezi community and the nation at large.
Ms Chirwa said with the Fast Track Court in place, all found violating the law will be charged accordingly as the case has been with Mr Tito Kalama.