Several operators of pubs in Mzuzu have defied the directive of City Council to be operating their businesses in restricted areas, time so as to curb spreading of the coronavirus (Covid-19) which is now spreading in the country.
On Thursday Mzuzu City Council officials ordered bar owners to operate from 2pm to 8 pm while banned the sell of groundnuts, fresh maize and sugarcane as well as vending in illegal spaces as part of measures to Covid-19.
The order according to the authorities is for 30 days starting from Friday, 3 April 2020.
However, a snap survey in the city has shown that some pubs continue to “put lives at risk” as they keep doors open after restricted time.
Premises opening illegally were “acting irresponsibly”, the council said.
Some vendors who talked with Nyasa Times in a random interview said they continue trading, saying they cannot respect the order by the council unless it provide them with food and rent cash.
“I am aware of the ban but wakufa lero safa mawa [if it was written that I will die today no one can change it]. We are used to sell our products here and we make enough money that help me to save my family from hunger and pay rent. Inside the market there is no enough space.
“Therefore before they come up with such measures the authorities need to address those issues first.” lamented some Kaunjika seller.
Some fresh maize and groundnuts sellers said “where do they expect us to feed our children? We get our daily bread through the same business, things are worse already economically so how do we survive without trading.”
On their part, some bar owners vowed to continue operating as they were doing before saying “the truth is that, the ban is just on paper and the authorities are also aware of it, people start enjoying beer during off peak hours which is from 9pm till dawn so we can not disturb our business.”
However, Mzuzu City Major Kondwani Nyasulu said the council will use its power to force them obey the measures.
He said the council has already talked with the police to enforce the orders.
Nyasulu said some people may think they are doing no harm behind closed doors but in reality they are selfishly putting themselves, their families and their wider community at risk.
“We appreciate business owners are feeling the financial impact… but these rules are in place for the protection and benefit of everybody.”
Malawi had so far registered 4 COVID-19 cases, 3 in Lilongwe and 1 in Blantyre city.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :