By SARAH MWANZA –
A COMBINED team of State personnel and Lusaka City Council (LCC) police on Friday night arrested some 250 patrons from illegal night joints in six townships.
The four-hour night operation started at the notorious ‘Devil Street’ in Emmasdale where patrons were forced to scamper in all directions as security personnel gave chase.
Bar owners operating well beyond the limits of their permits (22:00 hours) hurriedly brought the shutters down on their premises, forcing panicked patrons to flee.
The operation was so well-planned and so successfully executed that almost all targeted bars were caught totally unawares, with owners arrested and their licences seized.
The next stop of operation was the Porps Express behind Melisa Supermarket in Matero which is also notorious for noise pollution, illicit sexual activities and under-age patronage.
Workers and some patrons were rounded up by police and made to sit on the ground as other officers completed the operation of confiscating all alcoholic beverages.
At Matero market, a local DJ landed himself in trouble when he shouted offensive comments to the law enforcers forcing them to confiscate his music system, leaving the neighbourhood to enjoy a rare quiet night.
Other places raided included, Zingalume, George, Chunga and Garden with an aim of bringing sanity to the night business.
According to Brenda Katongola, LCC assistant public relations officer, a total of 15 clubs had their licences seized for operating contrary to the terms of their permits.
Ms Katongola said the next operation would target notorious corners of Chilenje Libala and Kabwata were a number of clubs were breaking their licences laws.
“The combine security team will intensify these operations as it is a continuous exercise because we want to bring sanity in the city,” she said.
She said during the operation about 100-150 crates of alcoholic beverages were also seized and those arrested would appear in fast-track courts and may be charged K10,000 or more, or in default, six months in jail.
A bar is supposed to open at 10 hours and close at 22 while a night club is permitted to operated between 22:00 hours and close around 05: 00 in the morning.