Crackdown on wayward fun lovers


MAUN: Fun lovers in Maun find themselves in limbo as authorities crackdown on what it calls alcohol related public nuisance on Maun streets. Village revellers are accused of illegal gathering in front of nightclubs, littering, indulging in sex and throwing used condoms in the rivers and in front of nightclubs.

The crackdown launched by the by-law enforcement in the North West District Council (NWDC) is in the form of nightclubs closure and sealing off popular river bank spots commonly referred to as  “beaches’ by revellers.  Many are complaining that the crackdown will affect local tourism in Maun over the festive season.

This week NWDC rescinded the licence and ordered Trekkers Nite Club to shut down immediately for alleged non-compliance with operation procedures.  They allegedly violated some of the conditions of their licence by operating beyond the stipulated hours. The closure left 24 employees of the club who include bar attendants, DJs and security personnel in limbo.

The nightclub allegedly received three warnings from bye-law officers for operating beyond the licensed hours. It is understood that all the three warnings came in September, one of which happened when Rhumba maestro Franco Lesokwane was playing at the club.

Mmegi is informed however that the issue of non-compliance advanced by the council is just a technicality. Some powerful business owners operating near the nightclub have apparently been complaining about the illegal assembly of revellers in front of Trekkers. 

Nightclubs have in the past explained they cannot be held responsible for what happens outside their yards as it was the responsibility of the bye-law enforcement officers and police to disperse the illegally assembled vendors and revellers. Trekkers Club manager, DJ Big Pun, said they were shocked by the council’s decision to close them down saying theirs was a minor violation which warranted a charge.

 He said there were many other liquor outlets that close beyond the stipulated hours but are never shut down. DJ Big Pun said the shutdown has affected them as they had to cancel bookings for performances at the club some of which had already been paid for.

He said the future of the nightclub and that of the employees is now uncertain as they are still trying to engage with the council to rescind the decision.

The authorities heap blame on the nightclubs for failing to control the influx of illegal gatherings and vending outside their establishments  which cause mayhem for neighbouring businesses. 

Patrick Penstone, chairman of the 911 Maun neighbourhood watch which represents the concerned businesses in the Trekkers Nite Club area, revealed to Mmegi that businesses in the area are happy with the NWDC decision to shut down Trekkers.

He said businesses were concerned about the illegal car parkings in front of their premises, which made it difficult to access the premises at night or early in the morning. Penstone also revealed that the revellers also polluted the area by leaving empty beverage cans and all sorts strewn around.

An employee of the French Connection restaurant, which neighbours the nightclub, shared this sentiment saying “these people have turned the streets around here into toilets.”

As if this is not enough, the council has opened another purge against riverbank fun lovers. Gaokgakala Letswee, chairman of Maun Administrative Authority, revealed during a council meeting on Monday that the council is cracking down on public nuisance from illegitimate assemblies of people by the river banks. 

Councillor Bathoni Poloko commended the decision of the council saying fun lovers regularly converge near Okavango River Lodge in Matlapana and indulge in lawlessness such as indiscriminate littering, having sex in public and throwing used condoms in the river.

Makgobokgobo councillor, Luke Motlaleselelo, felt that the council should expedite the leasing of open spaces around the river to the private sector to solve the problem of indiscriminate pollution and generate money for the council.

Councillor for Shorobe/Sankoyo, Oabile Chombo, advised the council to expedite the development of the riverside plot that was granted to the council by the Land Board to develop a fun park. Chombo said recreation is a need for the community.

Kubung councillor, Galaletsang Mhapha, called on the council to find a solution to the entertainment problems before the festive season begins. He said Maun is famous with many visitors over the festive season and some of the recent developments may discourage people from visiting, which will affect the local economy.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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