Mambwe Town Council in the Eastern Province has cautioned bar owners against noise pollution and threatened to revoke trading licenses for those who will not comply with the law.
The Local authority yesterday advised the bar owners to read and understand regulations relating to noise pollution as a public health nuisance.
Mambwe Town Council Secretary Henry Siwakwi said the local authority has been receiving reports from the members of the community concerning the noise pollution they have been experiencing in the area emanating from bars.
ZANIS reports that Mr Siwakwi said this when he met with bar owners in cropping area of Mfuwe District.
Mr Siwakwi said according to the statutory instrument No.10 of 2018 regulation 33, playing of loud music from bars and taverns that exceeds council permitted levels is an offence punishable by 5,000 penalty units.
The Council Secretary said liquor licenses are given to people to do businesses and sustain their livelihoods and not to commit offences that disturb the comfort of other people.
Mr Siwakwi called on bar owners to help themselves as well as the council by regulating themselves through self control and by understanding the laws surrounding noise pollution if they were to avoid licenses being revoked.
The Council Secretary advised the bar owners to ensure that they do not play loud music because their bars are not sound proofed.
“Bars are different from night clubs. Night clubs are able to operate beyond 22 hours because they are sound proofed unlike bars which are not,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lion King Pub owner, Zick Kolala said the customer base for the bar owners are people working from the lodges and government workers who do not knock off early from their jobs.
As such, Mr Kolala said bars cannot close early because they need to accommodate their clients who are only able go to the bars in the late hours of the evening.
He noted that if bars are closed early, they will not afford to make money enough to pay the workers which will force them to lay off some of their workers, a situation that would result in high unemployment rates.
And Mambwe District Commissioner, William Banda said government appreciates the efforts the private sector was making in employing citizens.
However, Mr Banda said established laws cannot be changed.
Instead, he advised bar owners to ensure they reduced on noise pollution and played music on permitted levels so that they do not infringe on the rights of others, noting that where one person’s rights ends, another’s begin.
Mr Banda added that the authorities were not stopping bars from playing music, but they were against playing of loud music to the extent of disturbing, annoying and causing discomfort to others.
The District Commissioner said the local authority does not desire to close bars as it also benefits from the levies it collects, but warned that if operators were not complying, the council would be left with no choice but to close the bars and revoke liquor licenses.