Zambian Breweries has welcomed President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s announcement of the partial reopening of bars, taverns and night clubs, which is aimed at reducing the negative impact of COVID-19 on establishment owners and their employees.
The country’s largest brewer has said the move will improve the livelihoods of bars and night club owners and contribute to the recovery of the economy, which has been hard hit by COVID-19.
The decision will also have a trickle own effect in supporting the agriculture value chain, given that Zambian Breweries supports local farmers by buying cassava, sorghum and barley, which are key ingredients in the company’s iconic brands such as Mosi, Castle, Castle Lite and Eagle lagers.
In supporting the partial reopening, Zambian Breweries Country Director Jose Moran said the company remained committed to contributing to job creation, agro-processing and manufacturing through the production of clear beer.
“Just like the Head of State has mentioned, we are also aware of the negative impact COVID-19 has had on owners of bars, taverns and night clubs, and we share their pain because they play a key role in the growth and overall success of the company.
“As these outlets begin to open up to the public, Zambian Breweries will continue to ensure that it meets the demand from its retailers and distributors, as well as continue supporting partnerships that increase opportunities to grow the economy and keep it running even in the new normal,” he said.
Mr Moran added that the company would continue engaging patrons and stakeholders, encouraging them to be a big part of the solution by adhering to the government directive such as masking, social distancing and sanitising.
In March this year, the Head of State ordered the closure of bars, taverns and night clubs among other outlets to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the opening of the 5th session of the 12th National Assembly yesterday, President Lungu said that he recognised the suffering that owner of bars, taverns and night clubs had experienced since the closure, and he was also aware of the suffering of their employees and related businesses.
“The employees, on the other hand, have barely survived, and many of them have become destitute. I know they have struggled to make earns meet, and their livelihoods are in disarray,” he told Parliament as he announced the partial reopening of outlets on a pilot basis from Fridays to Sundays from 16:00 hours to 23:00 hours with immediate effect.
“Should there be any flaunting of any of the public health regulation and guidelines, I will be left with no option but to close them again,” he stressed.
President Lungu said that patrons should adhere to the public guidelines such as masking, social distancing and sanitizing to protect themselves, their neighbours and the public, and directed the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of health to ensure that bars, tavern and night club owners and patrons strictly observe the opening days and hours, and public health regulations, guidelines and certifications.