THE Lusaka City Council’s (LCC) decision to give Chicagos and four other businesses at East Park Mall 24 hours to justify why their licences should not be revoked for violating Covid-19 guidelines is on firm ground.
LCC’s decision follows video footage showing that Chicagosmanagement, had at the weekend allowed their premises to operate as bar and night clubs, without observing social distancing rules.
The violations, according to council public relations manager George Sichimba Mr Sichimba, contravene the provisions of Statutory Instrument No. 21 and 22 of 2020 under the Public Health Act Cap Act Cap 295 of the laws of Zambia.
Mr Sichimba cites Decapo Coffee Bar and Lounge, Cock and Bull and Keg & Lion as other premises that where allegedly found violating the public health guidelines during routine inspections on May 29 last month.
- Decapo Coffee Bar and Lounge
- Keg and Lion
It’s been said that no man, or company, is above the law and we wonder why the businesses in question reportedly opted to disregard the law with impunity.
Yes, restrictions on some sectors such as restaurants, casinos and gyms had been lifted, but this was on condition that the businesses in question adhere to the public health guidelines.
But this does seems to be case as some citizens and businesses appear to have now taken a casual approach to the deadly pandemic which had brought global economies to their knees.
This could be partly because Covid-19 death toll remains at 7 in Zambia as a result, people seem to have developed a misplaced notion that the virus was no longer a threat.
The behaviour exhibited by Chicagos and other clubs just goes to show that citizens had let their guards down in terms of adhering to the Covid-19 measures.
It wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that Chicagos and other businesses were not the only ones violating the health guidelines. Many others were, except were doing so in secret.
Stories of patrons guzzling behind closed doors are not strange since preventive restrictions were placed on bars and night clubs in the wake of the pandemic.
But with intensified inspections, more bars and other alcohol outlets could be caught red handed operating in secret, allowing patrons to mingle without observing social distancing rules.
This is happening and it’s all because citizens had resorted to deceiving themselves that the virus was no longer a threat as already alluded to.
Even when it comes to masking, some citizens had started going about their daily lives without wearing face masks despite it being a legal requirement under the new normal.
Passengers boarding mini buses without face masks is slowly becoming a common site while social distancing rules appear to have been thrown to the wind too.
People moving up and down on grounds that they have to make ends meet, and cannot stay home, had slowly become more pronounced again.
But we wish to remind citizens again that Covid-19 is still very much a health threat in the country and the disease is more than capable of flaring up and claiming many more lives.
The fact that cases were still increasing should send a warning message to citizens to continue adhering to the public health guidelines to stay safe under the new normal.
We therefore advice bars and night clubs to wait patiently for the restrictions to be lifted by the Head of State or risk having their licences revoked.
The case of Chicagos and other clubs that were found contravening the law is stark reminder that no one is above the law, not even companies!