OPPOSITION People’s Democratic Party Bulawayo province has threatened to petition the Bulawayo City Council (BCC), over what it termed the fast collapse of Ingwebu Breweries, due to suspected mismanagement.
BY SILAS NKALA
PDP Bulawayo spokesperson Fortune Mlalazi said the move comes in the wake of Ingwebu beer products seemingly being elbowed out of the market in the city by brands sourced from outside the city.
Reports indicate that in 2010, about 22 of Ingwebu beer gardens were shut down and the council contemplated re-opening them in 2013, but to date most of the outlets are still closed.
“As PDP representing the people of Bulawayo, we are discontent over the running of Ingwebu,” Mlalazi said.
“It seems the council is not putting much effort to run the projects, hence some beer products coming from outside Bulawayo, such as Chibuku’s ‘Batai Munhu’, seem to dominate the local market when Ingwebu appear to be reluctant to take up its market share.”
He said PDP was preparing a petition for the local authority to up its efforts in reviving and operationalising its major beer manufacturing company.
“We are going to petition the council soon, challenging it to come up with a proper plan of reviving Ingwebu as one of the major sources of council revenue and to create more jobs for the people in the city,” he said.
“The mismanagement of the entity has cost a lot of local people their jobs and we cannot be happy to see products such as ‘Batai Munhu’ dominating the local market, yet people’s favourite beer Indlovu (Calabash) is in short supply.”
BCC has 10 beer gardens and eight liquor stores.
The council was once forced to close down some outlets due to high utility bills and a decline in production by Ingwebu.
Meanwhile, Mlalazi also called for the council to take over the running of the Bulawayo power station, saying the opposition party would petition the council, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and ZESA Holdings to have the power station returned to the council’s administration.
“The council is better placed to operate the power station since it belonged to it from the start,” he said.