By Sydney Gokomere
Gweru, August 26, 2016 – MORE than 20 workers at the now defunct Gweru City Council beer brewery, Go Beer say they are living in abject poverty after the company has failed to pay them their dues backdated to 2012.
Go Beer closed down in July last year as a result of operational challenges forcing council to cease its operations.
The workers who spoke on condition of anonymity told RadioVOP that they were last paid wages in April last year before the company shut down.
A worker who preferred to be called Alton said he was finding it hard to look after his family, pay school fees and rentals.
“I am failing to make ends meet and life has been hell for me,” said Alton.
Another worker, Godfrey said he was surviving on piecework from farms
A petition written by the workers in March this year showed that some of the workers have since died before receiving their packages while others relocated to the rural areas as they failed to meet expenses in town.
“Most of our members are nearing retirement age and are now driven into destitution yet council owes them thousands of dollars,” read part of the petition dated March 16 signed by 21 workers.
“Some workers have even died before they could get their money while others have relocated to their rural homes for failing to pay rentals.
Now we understand that the council is in the process of trying to dispose of the assets of Go Beer Breweries, we have not been consulted or advised and we fear that after the sale of the assets council will merely ignore us not pay our outstanding wages.”
Investigations by RadioVOP reveal that Go Beer assets have since been auctioned although the money raised did not pay workers.
Acting Town Clerk, Edgar Mwedzi said he was aware of the plight of the employees but said council had nothing to do with most of Go Beer’s debts since it operated as a stand alone company.