By Desmond Munemo
Several operators have defied the directive to close business so as to curb spreading of the coronavirus (Covid-19) which claimed its first death on Monday.
Most night clubs, bars and beer-halls in Harare were open for business.
In a survey conducted yesterday, H-Metro established that most bars and beer-halls in several suburbs were professing ignorance on the order or taking advantage of the closure of other beerhalls to make a killing.
In Kambuzuma almost all the bottle stores where open and some of the owners who spoke to this publication professed ignorance of the ban.
Richard Mwanza the manager of Live Line bottle store said he is not aware of the ban and the measures being taken to curb the spread of the virus.
“This is going to have serious consequences on our businesses.
“I pay over $11 000 per year on licenses; am I going to be compensated for that?
“Workers will need their salaries and I should be paying rent for this building,” he said.
The popular Mashwede beer joint along High Glen area was closed and workers who spoke to H-Metro revealed that they had been advised to close early.
“Today is the last day we are open and we have been told by 6pm we should close until further notice,” said one worker.
Mtangaz sports club in Glen View was open as usual with revellers inside the bar enjoying their beer.
Owner Munyaradzi Mtangadura said he was not aware that the ban extended to beer halls and sports clubs.
“I’m not aware of the ban, yes I know there are measures being implemented but I am not sure if it’s applying to us as well.
“If it is the case, there is nothing to do but to comply,” he said.
H-Metro caught up with Exevia Maoneke the owner of Wezhaz sports bar in Warren Park 1 who said the coronavirus pandemic should be taken seriously.
“I have to close my bar because I would not want my workers exposed to the virus let alone my customers who always frequent this spot.
“Care should be taken seriously at all times and as you can see I am going to shut another of my sports clubs in Chitungwiza,” he said.
Changamire Sports Bar, Chillox Bar and Inno Sports Bar in Warren Park 1 were closed and the managers revealed that they are now left with stocktaking.
Tongesai Murape, who owns Rockstar Sports Club told H-Metro that he immediately closed in response to President Mnangwaga’s pronouncement.
“I had to call my manager who was not aware of the announcement and he immediately closed the bar.
“He had a torrid time trying to disperse patrons who had already settled inside.
“It’s going to be tough for business but there is nothing to do but take precautionary measures because corona virus is real,” explained Murape. H-Metro