THE Livingstone City Council (LCC) yesterday swung into action and closed seven bars in the tourist capital for operating under unsanitary conditions.
According to a court order obtained by the council, the seven bars operating from a place called Malindi were closed, due to among other things, lack of proper toilets and dirty surroundings.
The order stated that the premises had contravened the Public Health Act Cap 295, Food and Drugs Act Cap 303, Local Government Act Cap 281 and the Liquor Licensing Act of the laws of Zambia.
LCC public relations manager Emmanuel Sikanyika said a lack of sanitary waste storage receptacles, broken and deteriorating ceiling boards, potholed and worn out floors including food handlers that were not medically examined and certified had led to the closure of the bars.
Mr Sikianyika, who was in a team of council health inspectors, said in an interview yesterday that the local authority would not tolerate bars to operate under unsanitary conditions in Zambia's tourist capital.
"We remained with no option but to close these bars because we have given the owners of the premises several reminders to renovate and put in place some of the things we recommended in December last year but nothing had been done.
"We got a court order and we have since proceeded to close up these bars," Mr Sikanyika said.
He said the place was unfit and not conducive for doing business because it was a danger to human beings as well as a health hazard.
Mr Sikanyika said the bars would remain closed until the issues highlighted in the recommendations were attended to.
And property manager for Malindi bar Mary Mubu said the owner of the trading place, who is based in Lusaka, was aware of the complaints from the tenants and the council.
Ms Mubu said the owner had made promises to renovate the place although nothing had been done to that effect yet.
"The owner is aware and says he will come and even demolish this place so that he can construct new shops," Ms Mubu said.
A bar operator Aphe Muchele said he was also disappointed that the owner had not attended to most of the councils' demands despite the tenants paying huge amounts in rentals.