THE Liquor Board secretariat has announced that new liquor licences will not be granted in Harare’s central business district in an attempt to reduce the number of bottle stores operating near bus terminuses.
The move will remain in effect until the Liquor Board makes a definitive decision on the matter. The decision was made in response to concerns raised by the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) that the proximity of such stores has contributed to accidents caused by kombi drivers consuming alcohol while on duty.
No more new liquor licences
The Liquor Board will now conduct an audit of such establishments around the country before making a decision on granting or revoking licences.
“We are carrying out a licence audit within the CBD to determine the density of the establishments and the magnitude of the problem.
“The Board will sit and resolve the issue of the already licensed premises which are close to bus termini across Zimbabwe.
“We hope that this will address the said concerns, notwithstanding approvals and authorities which might be issued by the local authorities,” said Liquor Licensing Board secretary, Precious Kusotera.
PAZ national coordinator, Tafadzwa Goliati, wrote to the Board asking for its urgent intervention.
“We have observed with dismay that as a result of licensed bottle stores and bars operating in Mbare, Copacabana, Rezende and CBD, passenger service vehicle drivers are driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Consequently, this endangers the lives of passengers and other road users through traffic accidents,” said Goliati.
“We are also concerned that some people are using vehicles and their vending businesses to illicitly sell liquor.”