A local sports bar owner and his two bartenders have been fined a total of ZWL$20 000 for operating beyond curfew hours.
The court heard that three were arrested on Saturday night by two police officers who were on patrol.
The police officers went to the bar located at the Bellevue shopping centre around 11:30 PM and found the bar operating and they advised the owner to close the place but when they revisited the place again an hour later they found it still open.
Zimbabwe is on level two lockdown under which bars and nightclubs remain closed and bottle stores are allowed to sell alcohol for consumption off-premises.
The owner of Push Power sports bar Bruce Moyo (46) and his two employees Busisiwe Moyo (28) and Mitchell Masuku (22) pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a sports bar against Covid-19 regulations.
They appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Rachel Mukanga and were represented by Bob Sansole of Dube, Mguni, Dube Legal Practitioners.
Magistrate Mukanga convicted the trio and ordered that Moyo the owner pays a fine of ZWL$ 10 000 while the other two pay ZWL$5 000 each.
Sansole mitigated that the three were breadwinners who were trying to fend for their families and they were remorseful for their actions.
“Your Worship, my clients are breadwinners in their families. They were trying to fend for them yet by so doing they were risking the health of their patrons. They understand the gravity of their actions and are remorseful hence them pleading guilty to the charge they are facing,” Sansole said.
State representative Ashley Dube told the court that on September 25, 2021, Sanudi Tembo and Assistant Inspector Lloyd Maruza were on duty carrying out preventive patrols when they passed by Push Power sports bar around 11:30PM.
“They found the bar open and operating as usual. They ordered Moyo to close and warned him not to open again but after an hour the two cops revisited the bar and found it still open. The two bar tenders were subsequently arrested and they said the owner had directed them not to close,” Dube said.