Panafrican News Agency

Bujumbura closes bars operating after permitted opening time

Bujumbura, Burundi (PANA) - Authorities in Bujumbura city have closed down a dozen bars as as a warning to pub owners who disregard their officially set business time.

Almost a month ago, the city administration set opening time for bars from 17h to 21h local (15h to 19h GMT) to protect the "health" and "pocket" revellers.

Bujumbura city Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa believes that the inhabitants of Burundi's economic capital have an interest in using much more time for production and not just to drink beer and eat grilled skewers, sometimes until late at night.

Since the time limit was imposed, the City Hall's coffers have collected more than three million Burundian francs (around 1,600 US dollars), according to Mr Mbonimpa.

The municipal measure has driven many consumers underground, forced to lock themselves in small neighbourhood stores to quench their thirst, as they watch time and law-enforcement officers at a glance as well.

Stores that serve alcohol on site are subject to the same sanctions as licensed drinking outlets, the Mayor said.

After the legal time of 9 p.m., public order officials are required to enforce the law, as set out in the municipal decision.

He emphasised that the motivation of this measure "has nothing to do with any curfew necessitated by insecurity."

-0- PANA FB/TBM/MTA/AR 17Dec2019