Residents of Mandala Flats in Blantyre have asked Blantyre City Council (BCC) to close a pub, From Dusk to Dawn, in the residential area which is operated by businessman George Sims citing noise pollution and traffic congestion as some of the reasons they want it shut down.
In the petition to the council, the residents also argue that the property is not wrongly used as it is not a designated commercial property.
One of the concerned residents, Diana Mangwana said last week they obtained a removal order through Magistrate Peter Kandulu but it was later vacated by Sims’ lawyer Ted Roka through Justice 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,” said Mangwana.
BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda said 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,” Kasunda said.
But Mangwana said the bar is still operational despite the owner being ordered to close.
Kasunda said the council will investigate the matter.
“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 had expires in June 2017.
But a letter to the owner of the bar dated May 16, 2017 and seen by Nation Online shows that the council has rejected his food and liquor licence application.
It cited noise pollution and congestion as some of the reasons and has since advised the owner to find another location for the business.
Roka accused the city council of acting on the allegation by the residents through the petition and not based on facts. He added that it never made an 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.
“We wonder why they are taking an issue now. Other people have been operating businesses there before but there was no issue,” he said.