By Dickson Jere
I went to five different places yesterday which by any standard and setup – are bars and nightclubs. They were opened with full throttle. The bigger ones had “permits” to be open and was shown the documents because they are also restaurants.
“We got the approvals last week,” one owner told me.
The other two just defied the order to close down saying they were ready to face whatever consequences. But they were chockablock!
However, the small bars, remains closed or selling the alcohol through the windows – the colonial type – and patrons drink in their cars.
“Sir, we have big bars opened especially ku ma yardi…” one bar owner complained, indicating that permits were given to the bars patronized by the rich. He had a list of those famous bars!
Now, with Covid 19 still on, there is need to harmonise these issues and they may breed anarchy. Why not allow all bars to open on condition they follow the laid down regulations? What is happening now is that bars have decided to reopen in total defiance of government orders.
For instance, those smaller bars or taverns on markets, have secretly opened but kept the toilets closed since they are supposed to be closed. Patrons now use the nearby walls as conveniences. This is creating another health challenge.
“Why should this Covid 19 be only for the poor,” one asked me, in reference to the opening of famous bars in upmarket areas.
I think it is time government relook at the whole bars thing as the bar owners feel they are being mistreated while the “bars and restaurants” in name have continued operating normally as bars! The poor bar owners in shanties now believe that only bars for the “powerful and connected” will continue operating under Covid 19 while the rest remain closed. Unfair – they believe!