The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
BULAWAYO Municipal Commercial Undertaking owned Ingwebu Breweries has reportedly witnessed a huge staff turnover in recent months with the company attributing this to workers drinking alcohol during working hours and theft.
This came out during a presentation of the brewery’s quarterly report that was presented by board chairperson, Mr Thandaza Masiye-Moyo, where he was responding to queries by Bulawayo city councillors on the reported endless hirings and firings at the company.
According to a council confidential report, Ward 22 Councillor, Rodney Jele had noted that the reports were now reflecting badly on the local authority, hence there was a need for Ingwebu management to explain what was transpiring for accountability purposes.
“In response to the sentiments, concerns raised, the managing director (Mr Dumisani Mhlanga) explained that Ingwebu had 60 percent permanent employees. The other 40 percent of the staff were provided by third party brokers as and when needed.
When the company was not producing they stopped them because they were contract workers. He further added that there were two reasons for dismissal of staff. The first one was drinking alcohol on work premises without permission. This was a standing rule which all the staff were aware of but somehow offenders were always caught during random spot checks,” reads the report.
He revealed that in terms of theft, this was mainly being experienced at the sales department.
“When a staff member committed such crimes, they were dismissed from the organisation. Keeping them would kill the very organisation they were trying to turnaround. The information on fired staff and the reasons which they were fired for was available.
“The Town Clerk (Mr Christopher Dube) further explained that he was aware of the allegations against Ingwebu Breweries. Some of the people circulating the allegations had been legally retrenched. He had held an extensive discussion with the managing director about the supposed hiring and firing and was satisfied with his response,” reads the report.
Meanwhile, councillors have questioned the use of external auditors for Ingwebu Breweries while the local authority had its own auditing department while also noting the continued delay in availing interim dividends.
“In response, the board chairman explained that interim dividends were still on hold. The only restraining challenge had been the finalisation of the audits which they were still in the process of updating. Due to currency instability in the country, they did not know which currency to record. Auditors were currently working on 2019 and 2020 and they were expected to be done with 2020 in the next two months. He assured the committee that efforts would be made to ensure they were in sync with statutory compliance,” reads the council report.
According to the report, the board chairperson noted that there was a need to strike a balance between interim dividends and the vision as the organisation.
“On the issue of utilising council’s auditors, the board chairperson explained that the board was facing technical challenges in relation to migration from private to council auditors. They were currently looking into the issue to determine the ways in which they could migrate,” reads the council report.