UPND Kamwala ward councilor Mainda Simataa has threatened to mount speakers and play loud music at Civic Centre if the Lusaka City Council does not stop the noise pollution in Madras, Kamwala and Kabwata areas surrounding KCC.
But Lusaka Town Clerk Alex Mwansa has expressed shock that Simataa went ahead to write such a letter despite being assured that the council had actually taken action against the bar.
Meanwhile, Mwansa says 200 bar and nightclub owners in Lusaka are expected to appear before the courts of law for noise pollution and operating beyond the normal operating hours.
In a letter dated February 14, 2022, addressed to the Town Clerk, Simataa stated that he would not write to the council again but would instead play loud music civic centre so that they get a taste of the discomfort which residents were going through.
“This is my third and final letter on this matter. I have continued to receive an increasing number of complaints from residents of Madras, Kamwala and Kabwata area surrounding KCC- a place where several nightclubs are playing loud music with speakers mounted outside the whole night, week in week out. The affected communities have been petitioning LCC since 2016 as the record shows. Such an act, as you are well aware, is a public nuisance, and a violation of the provisions of the public health regulations. These residents are people with school children and the elderly being deprived of sleep. Our late Kabwata Mp Hon. Mkandawire wrote to you on the same issue, and our newly elected MP Hon. Tayengwa has. I will not write to you again but I will come and mount speakers at civic center and play music at full blast, so that you can get a taste of the discomfort residents are going through,” warned Simataa.
But in an interview, Wednesday, Mwansa expressed shock that Simataa went ahead to write a letter despite being assured that the council had actually taken action against the bar.
“He had a meeting with my public health director yesterday [Tuesday], I think before he issued that letter, and he was assured that they had actually taken action against the bar. And we even shared the letter that we shared to the proprietor of the premises, that was on 14th. What we have done so far, we have captured 200 bar owners including night clubs and we have cited them for prosecutions, most of them on account of noise pollution and operating beyond the normal operating hours. So very soon you will see 200 of the owners of those premises appearing before the courts of law,” he said.
“So that is the information that we shared with him and also we assured him that we had actually recommended the closure of the bar, the one which is near Madras. And so we are surprised that yesterday he issued that statement for one reason or the other. I think there is a lot of pressure and we understand coming from the residents of Madras on him. But the road map was shared with him and assurances made. We have been warning the owner for a long time persistently. He would stop then after a few weeks he starts again. So it’s been like that for some time but this time we just decided that it is too much, let’s close. But what the law provides is for him to undergo that process of prosecution. We are taking him to court and then the magistrate will decide. Of course, we will provide our evidence and so on then the courts will determine the matter. That is all we can do under the current legal provisions.”
Meanwhile, LCC Director Public Health Christopher Mtonga has warned one of the nightclub owners, Apton Phiri, operating at KCC in Kabwata against contravening public health guidelines.
“Following numerous complaints received by my office, an inspection was conducted on the 14th February, 2022 by a team of Public health Inspectors to ascertain compliance with the minimum public health standards and the liquor licensing Act of 2021. The following defects were noted at the time of inspection; operating without a liquor license and failure to display the liquor license at the time of inspection. Placing big speakers outside your premises, evidence of possible noise pollution, operating before stipulated hours. Be informed that the above mentioned findings contravene the provisions of the public health Act Cap 295. The liquor licensing Cap No. 20 and the Local Government Act No. 2 of 2019 of the laws of Zambia. You are hereby instructed to obtain a liquor license from the local authority and display it at all times. Remove the music speakers from outside the premises. Work within the permitted hours of operation (from 10:00 to 00:00). The above conditions must be adhered to immediately. Further, you are required to halt operations and show cause within 48 hours of receipt of this letter as to why the local authority should not take legal action against you,” he warned in a letter dated February 14 addressed to Phiri.