Blantyre City Council has ordered the closure of Dusk to Dawn club near Mandala Flats in the commercial city for illegally operating in a residential area.
The decision follows a protracted disagreement between some Mandala residents and the bar owner George Sims.
BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda confirmed the development, saying the council gave the owner a notice of closure after finding out that the bar was operating without a licence.
“Yes it is true. We received a complaint from residents, we went to the premises to investigate and ordered the owner to close the business after discovering that he had no operating licence,” he said.
And in a letter signed by BBC chief executive officer addressed to Sims dated May 16 2017 and seen by The Nation shows that the council rejected his food and liquor licence application, citing noise pollution and congestion as some of the reasons.
One of the concerned residents, Diana Mangwana, a magistrate, said the residents last week obtained a removal order through magistrate Peter Kandulu, but it was later vacated by Sims’ lawyer Ted Roka through High Court judge Rowland Mbvundula.
“The situation is not right. They play loud music as early as 6pm up to 6am, cars are parked on the road. There are beer bottles all over and customers urinate everywhere, it is really getting out of hand,” she said.
But Mangwana said the bar is still operational despite the owner being ordered to close, an allegation Kasunda said the council will investigate.
“If that is so, that means they are operating illegally and we will investigate and take the necessary action,” he said.
However, Roka dismissed allegations that his client was operating without a licence, saying the licence he has expires in June 2017.
He accused the city council of acting on the allegations by the residents through the petition and not based on facts. He added that the council made no effort to hear from his side.
When asked why the bar is still operational while BCC ordered them to close, Roka said they challenged any action against the business in court and the matter is waiting court redress.
On Monday, this week, the club hosted a live band performance till late. n