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Letlhakane bar owners arrested for non-compliance

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Letlhakane bar owners arrested for non-compliance PIC. FILE
FRANCISTOWN: Police are concerned about a number of businesses, which have failed to comply with the new regulations to close bottlestores, salons and depots in response to the spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Last week Thursday, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame announced that on Saturday there would be no sale of alcohol for the period of 30 days following members of the community’s non-compliance with the measures.

In an interview with Mmegi, Letlhakane police station commander superintendent Michael Maphephu told this publication that they have arrested a number of people over the weekend that disobeyed the government directive. 

He said that they have arrested three bar owners who are still in police custody and charged them with failure to obey the law.

Still at the weekend, Maphephu said that they detained six individuals who were found selling liquor without trading licences at their homes.

Maphephu said: “On Sunday we also arrested two salon owners after they failed to comply with an order to close their businesses. Still on the same day we also arrested three people who were found in unlawful possession of a substance suspected to be dagga”. 

He further said that after making the arrests on Saturday and Sunday respectively, most of the people in their policing area have started complying with the new laws. 

 Maphephu stressed that some people are still not paying heed to the new laws and continue to secretively sell alcohol in their homestead. 

The top police said that they would continue with their operation until people in Letlhakane and surrounding areas are in total compliance to the government directive.

Mmegi also spoke to Masunga station commander

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Gaolathe Ngayaya to check the situation of compliance in his policing area.

Ngayaya told this publication that they have not recorded any case of people violating the new laws.

As a matter of fact, she pointed out that all depots, bottlestores, salons, barber shops and liquor wholesalers in their policing area were closed on a given time, following the announcement which was made by the minister last week.

She added: “We only registered one case of a shebeen, which was selling alcohol after the first announcement to close bars but ever since the second directive to close the affected businesses, everyone has been abiding by the rules”.

Ngayaya said that they have deployed police officers in their policing areas to keep an eye on the situation.

On another matter, Masunga station commander said that the number of the illegal immigrants using ungazetted points of entry along the Botswana –Zimbabwe borderline in their policing area, has not changed.

She said that they still arrest the same numbers of illegal immigrants just like did before the COVID-19 epidemic.

Ngayaya said: “I cannot give you the statistics of illegal immigrants arrested trying to use or after using ungazetted points of entry because we make arrests on a daily basis and deport them on the same day”.

She explained that they deport the border jumpers on a daily basis so as to control and reduce congestion of culprits at their police station holding cells.



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