Gweru City Council on Tuesday resolved to close the municipality-owned beer concern, Go-Beer Breweries after it emerged that the liquor undertaking has been financially straining the local authority.
Councillors made the resolution at a full council meeting that the beer concern should close shop immediately and most of the permanent employees sent on unpaid leave while the council investigates the operations of the brewery.
The finance, human resources and farm managers have been spared the forced leave as the city fathers resolved that they should assist in the auditing of Go-Beer Breweries.
Ward 4 councillor, Kenneth Sithole, read the resolutions which were unanimously adopted.
“With immediate effect, Go-Beer should cease operations and all full time workers go on unpaid leave as we (council) make investigations and audits in the sister company.
“We cannot continue to support a non-performing entity which is draining council resources,” Sithole said.
Yesterday council security and auditors took over and locked Go-Beer Breweries beerhalls in and around the city and the brewery pending investigations.
In recent years the municipality took over the company’s debts and absorbed staff deploying them in various departments after they went for years without being paid. Last week the messenger of court attached 300 cattle belonging to Go-Beer to settle outstanding salary arrears, a move that sources say incensed councillors.
Last year the Local Authorities Pension Fund took Go-Beer Breweries to court over an estimated $200 000 pension fund debt.
The organisation claimed Go-Beer had not been remitting workers’ pension contributions since 2010.