LILIAN CHIKANDI writes
RESIDENTS of Chirundu district in Lusaka Province are worried about the mushrooming drinking places and mobile money booths in residential areas and public facilities.
Markus Chilungamo complained that the trend was becoming unbearable and a public nuisance.
Mr Chilungamo wondered why the council had continued issuing trading licences to people who owned the taverns that did not have proper sanitation.
He said the taverns were disturbing people in residential areas and polluting the environment with noise besides posing a public health hazard.
Mr Chilungamo also said he was worried about the increase in illegal drinking places in residential areas.
Another resident, Elijah Nkuwa, said he was concerned about the increasing number of mobile money booths in the bus station.
Mr Nkuwa said the booths were causing a shortage of space for bus and taxi operators, who were being forced to park outside the station.
But the council has warned of stern action against the perpetrators of the illegalities and has promised to regulate the number of mobile booths.
Chirundu district council secretary John Mwanza warned the people operating taverns and shebeens in residential areas that it was illegal to run such a business without the local authority’s permission.
Mr Mwanza warned those with liquor trading licences that failure to abide by the terms of their licences would lead to revocation of the permits.
He said he was sad that reports of people polluting residential areas with noise from the bars and shebeens had persisted.
Mr Mwanza said the local authority would enforce the Liquor Licence Act and the Public Health Act, and penalise the offenders by revoking their licences so that they stop disturbing other people.
And commenting on the increasing number of mobile money booths, Mr Mwanza said the local authority had tried to increase the fee for a booth licence in a bid to minimise the number of mobile money operators, but the measure did not seem to be working.
The number of people applying for the service has kept increasing.
Mr Mwanza said he hoped the council would find a bigger piece of land to build a modern bus station so that the market space could be extended to the current bus station and accommodate marketeers selling on the street.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwanza has urged the local people to pay for services at the council so that it can serve them efficiently.
He said the council would re-fence the bus station and increase the number of garbage bays following a public outcry.
He said lack of money was delaying the process.