ZIMBABWE- The Liquor Licensing Board in Zimbabwe has issued a warning to certain bottle stores and retail liquor outlets for non-compliance with their licensing conditions.
The board announced that it has received reports of these outlets opening early, closing late, allowing customers to drink on their premises, and even offering entertainment, which may be in violation of their licenses.
In a statement, the Liquor Licensing Board, which serves as the regulatory and controlling authority of the liquor industry in Zimbabwe, emphasized the importance of liquor operators understanding and adhering to the terms of their licenses to avoid conflicts and legal repercussions.
The board highlighted some key terms, including operating within specified hours and ensuring that alcohol is not consumed on the premises unless the license explicitly permits it, such as for bars or restaurants.
Meanwhile, the board has urged members of the public to report non-compliant liquor outlets for appropriate action.
Additionally, the board reported that over recent months, it has been observed that many liquor outlets have failed to adhere to stipulated operating hours.
To address these violations, it has emphasized its commitment to enforcing the law and taking action against non-compliant outlets, which may include revoking licenses or imposing fines.
The statement also clarified that bottle stores are strictly takeaway shops and do not allow for the consumption of alcohol on their premises. They are also not permitted to have television, radio, amusement machines, or any form of entertainment.
In contrast, bars, beer halls, restaurants, and nightclubs are categorized as sit-in establishments where patrons are allowed to consume alcohol within the premises.
However, the consumption of alcohol outside and in the vicinity of these establishments is generally not allowed.
In addition, the board expressed concern about the emergence of unlicensed outlets that have become hubs for illicit brewing.
It affirmed its commitment to working with law enforcement agencies to apprehend and prosecute those involved in illicit activities.
The statement provided the operating hours for licensed outlets as stipulated in SI 197 of 2004, including specific time frames for different liquor establishments, such as airport bars, bottle stores, clubs, hotels, nightclubs, and hangout pubs.
According to the regulations, adherence to these operating hours is mandatory, and deviations may result in legal consequences.