ZAMBIAN Breweries has welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s announcement of the partial reopening of bars, taverns and nightclubs, which is aimed at reducing the negative impact of COVID-19 on establishment owners and their employees.
In a statement, the company said the move would improve the livelihoods of bars and nightclub owners and contribute to the recovery of the economy, which has been hard hit by COVID-19.
In March, President Lungu ordered the closure of bars, taverns and nightclubs among other outlets to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the opening of the 5th session of the 12th National Assembly last Friday, the President said that he recognised the suffering that owners of bars, taverns and nightclubs had experienced since the closure, and he was also aware of the suffering of their employees and related businesses.
The Head of State announced the partial reopening of outlets on a pilot basis from Fridays to Sundays from 18:00 hours to 23:00 hours with immediate effect.
“Should there be any flaunting of any of the public health regulation and guidelines, I will be left with no option but to close them again,” President Lungu said.
Supporting the partial reopening, Zambian Breweries country director Jose Moran said the company remained committed to contributing to job creation, agro-processing and manufacturing through the production of clear beer.
“Just like the Head of State has mentioned, we are also aware of the negative impact COVID-19 has had on owners of bars, taverns and nightclubs, and we share their pain because they play a key role in the growth and overall success of the company,” said Moran. “As these outlets begin to open up to the public, Zambian Breweries will continue to ensure that it meets the demand from its retailers and distributors, as well as continue supporting partnerships that increase opportunities to grow the economy and keep it running even in the new normal.”
Moran said the company would continue engaging patrons and stakeholders, encouraging them to be a big part of the solution by adhering to the government directive such as masking, social distancing and sanitising.
According to the statement, the decision to reopen bars and nightclubs would also have a trickle-down effect in supporting the agriculture value chain, given that Zambian Breweries supports local farmers by buying cassava, sorghum and barley, which are important ingredients in the company’s key brands.