A BULAWAYO motorist was forced to fire warning shots to deter drunken university students who engaged in an orgy of violence — attacking motorists and passersby after attending an unsanctioned party, NewsDay has heard.
Under COVID-19 regulations, parties remain banned.
According to police, a university student Michael Muza was arrested on Saturday after hosting an unsanctioned party which turned violent, resulting in a motorist pulling his gun and firing warning shots.
“The ZRP warns residents and university students against hosting parties late into the night and engaging in orgies of violence. On April 24, police in Bulawayo arrested Muza for breaching COVID-19 regulations,” police said.
“The suspect hosted a party for his fellow university students in Selbourne Park, Bulawayo, which resulted in violence and attack on motorists who were passing by. A cornered motorist had to fire warning shots to evade attack from marauding students.”
In a follow-up statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the law enforcement agency was worried over the holding of unsanctioned parties as he also warned bar and nigh-club operators against operating without authorisation.
“In this regard, all operators who continue to defy COVID-19 health and safety measures will face severe penalties as outlined by government and should not cry foul on arrest by police. People found drinking beer at bars, beerhalls and restaurants will also be arrested by the police and made to face due processes of the law,” he said.
Bars, beerhalls and nightclubs remain closed.
Bulawayo liquor traders have repeatedly petitioned government to lift the suspension while also appealing to authorities to declare a waiver on the rentals from March 2020, arguing that they were finding it difficult to pay rentals as they were closed and not getting any revenues.
According to the Liquor Traders Association, Bulawayo has 1 015 outlets registered with the liquor licensing board.