LUSAKA Mayor Miles Sampa, in collaboration with other council officials, has withdrawn trading and liquor licences and closed down Chicago’s Reloaded, Grandaddys Pub, Drill Beat Pub in Chilenje and MS Liquor at Chilenje for operating as bars, defying the Presidential directive that bars and nightclubs remain closed as cases of COVID-19 keep rising.

The erring owners have been advised so visit the health department office on Monday and show cause as to why their licenses should not be revoked.

During his visit to Chicagos, East Park mall, Sampa was met by a fully packed restaurant with some patrons outside waiting to be admitted.

“We are at Chicagos, we have a concern. These are officials from the council, as you know the guidelines, the bars should not operate. The President repeated that over and over so that we stop Corona spreading. Just when I have come here people are drunk, spitting in each other’s face…we gave you permission to trade as a restaurant, to sell food while people are seated but what we found here, it’s just like a bar. So we have a job to do, because regulations are being broken here. The officials here, I am asking them to pick up the licenses here and suspend [them] until further notice. So this place will remain closed until further notice. It’s one amidst every outlet in the city that seems to be behaving in this manner, so council officials take charge. Thank you for your cooperation. Within an hour everybody should be out of here,” said Sampa.

And Chicagos owner only identified as Sarva said they had been operating as a restaurant but people tended to become unruly and defy health guidelines when they were drunk.

“We serve the food while they are seated but once they start drinking [alcoholic beverages], they [start] hugging each other and all that kind of stuff, that’s the hard part,” said Sarva.

At Drill Beat Pub, patrons were found drinking within the premises and when asked why, a staff member manning the joint said people were buying take away and were only opening the bottles from inside the pub.

President Edgar Lungu said during his national address on Friday that bars and schools would remain closed until weather conditions are favorable to avoid continued spread of the Coronavirus.