Friday, 18 January 2019

BARS HIT BY VIOLENCE

IT will take months for some bars and bottle stores in Bulawayo’s high density suburbs to recover and reopen after being looted by thugs during the violent shutdown in the city. Millions of dollars worth of property was lost during the rampant looting that started on Monday and ended on Wednesday.

At Mqombothi Sports Bar in Nkulumane suburb, vandals broke into the establishment, stole, speakers, disco lights, beer, amplifiers and chairs leaving the bar virtually empty.

“The situation is bad. People took everything from the bar. It was empty. We don’t know when it’ll open. The owners of the nightspot will come and have a look, assessing the situation and they shall tell us what the way forward is,” said DJ Sweeto.
Mqombothi is situated at a complex popularly known as koBullet which was attacked and looted during the three-day orgy.

DJ Maversto who plies his trade at Whatever Sports Bar in Lobengula said fortunately their joint was spared during the violent melee, adding that they do not know when they would open.

“Residents in the area stood firm and repelled people from attacking our bar. We are lucky that’s all. We closed on Monday last week and this weekend I don’t see us opening for business. In fact we aren’t sure when we shall open to the public,” said Maversto.

In New Magwegwe just a stone’s throw away at Izandla Zonke Sports Bar, they were not as fortunate as it is reported that people broke in, looted and burnt tyres inside the bar.
Not only will these nightspots lose business, but the people who work for them will be out of jobs hence no pay for this month.

Lameck Katso, who owns Katso Sports Bar at Chigumira shopping centre in Luveve, said he would most probably open the bar in a month’s time.

“I’m busy with renovations and upgrading my security system at the bar. With my calculations, I’ll be fully operational in a month’s time. They took all my stock, generators and compressors from the refrigerators.

“I’ve bills to pay and my workers will suffer because of people who looted. They have families to feed and they aren’t working hence they most probably won’t get paid,” said Katso.

He said what was ironic was that there were people phoning him wanting to drink at his establishment.

“There are people who are calling me asking when I’ll open the bar. I asked them since they looted what they think I should do, since I don’t have stock.

“I believe that these attacks were pre-planned as they targeted bars, bottle stores and shops that had nothing to do with the strike,” said Katso.
He said there are people who took pictures of the looters and he has seen them and knows some of them.

“I’ve seen pictures of people who were looting on those days and I know most of them. Soon I’ll compile a list of the people and hand them over to the police. There are also some people coming forward telling me who was looting. They’ll be caught and brought to book,” said Katso.

On the eastern side of the city bars closed down while others were tentatively open, although there were no cases of looting and violence reported. Chronicle

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