By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Ndola City Council has warned members of the public against turning their homes into shebeens as a way of evading the COVID-19 preventive measures that restrict bars from operating beyond 23:30 hours.
Ndola city Council Public Relations Manager Rebecca Mushota said the Local Authority has observed that after operations of bars and nightclubs were restricted following the outbreak of the COVID-19, some bar owners and other members of the public have turned their homesinto bars.
Ms Mushota said that reports of homes turning into shebeens shave increased after restrictions were imposed on bars and nightclubs.
She said the department of Public Health has also undertaken various inspections which have revealed that shebeens in the city have increased.
Ms Mushota said selling of liquor without a licence and selling of alcohol in a residential place is illegal according to the Liquo License.
She said sanitation is compromised in shebeens which is a health hazard.
“Shebeens promote crime as criminals tend to hide in such places while the safety of children in the homes that have been turned into bars is compromised as drunk patrons could take advantage of the situation and possibly defile children,” she said.
Ms Mushota said those found running shebeens risk prosecution and fines as well as imprisonment.
She said the Council calls on all members of the public to report people that have turned their homes into drinking places.
Ms Mushota said the Council is alert that authorities have warned of a possible second wave of COVID-19 and that people are in a festive mode and therefore wish to issue a timely caution against shebeens.
She said Liquor traders are also cautioned against breaching the law and inspectors will be conducting on spot checks to ensure compliance.