By Scoop Reporter
NATIONAL Restoration Party President Stephen Nyirenda has castigated Government’s failure to protect local businesses at the expense of foreign ones.
Speaking after he took a tour of selected bars and clubs operating under the umbrella of restaurants, Nyirenda feared that the move to leave the issue unattended will not only result in an explosion in covid-19 infections, but has the potential to knock out local entrepreneurs owners whose businesses have remain closed.
“This is shocking, we have local businesses that are also registered as restaurants closed and patrons beaten by police under the command of the Minister and then we have foreign owned bars also operating as restaurants left to run normally. What sort of double standards are these?
“I visited Cock and Bull, Keg & Figtree, Chicago’s, these are foreign owned and operated. They were fully packed with people not observing social distancing and sanitizing. Yes, they are operating as restaurants but all I saw was them serving alcohol, shisha. Who goes out to have a meal at 01, 02, or 03 in the morning? This is being irresponsible, in the midst of this covid-19 you allow people to assemble? Let’s be serious,” he complained.
He has also challenged Lusaka Province Minister to apologize to the Zambians for beating them up using the police.
“Mr. Lusambo should apologize to Zambians. He had a lot of people beaten up and locked up for doing exactly what the foreign business owners are encouraging and doing. Are foreigners untouchable? Zambia is for Zambians and as such must be treated as first”.
“I went round different neighborhoods, Mtendere, Longacre, Northmead, Garden, Chainda, Chelstone, Avondale all closed with some police presence at some premises except for only one, Paddy Blues but we are told that the owner is a PF sympathizer and ex diplomat who knows where to press” he said.
He also has asked Zambians to be patriotic by supporting their own.
“These foreigners you are supporting, their goal is to enrich themselves and their countries of origin. They are not here for your well-being but to serve their own interests. The same moneys you spend on their businesses is sent back to their homes and they leave us with problems.
“They don’t care. This is what the PF government is encouraging just because of the greed of very few selfish individuals,” he said.
He has challenged President Edgar Lungu to rethink his decision of opening up selected foreign bars in the name of restaurants but restrict local ones.