Troubled retailer Afro Foods’ Chinhoyi branch was this week evicted from its premises and had its property attached over rental arrears at its various branches across the country.
On Monday, NewsDay witnessed the eviction and property attachment at the Chinhoyi branch and workers said the situation was the same at branches across the country including Karoi, Chegutu, Bindura, Mvurwi, Gweru, Chipinge and Glendale.
Chinhoyi assistant messenger of court/deputy sheriff, Kudakwashe Majuru said property owners CFI Holdings had instructed them to eject Afro Foods and attach property which included groceries, shop fittings, bakery and catering equipment, point-of-sale tills and fridges, among others. Chinhoyi branch manager Tius Makuvise confirmed Afro Foods was evicted over $32 000 rent arrears.
“We have been served with the eviction notice and had attachment of property by the Messenger of Court over rent arrears amounting to $32 000 owed to property owners CFI Holdings,” said Makuvise, before referring further questions to head office.
The Afro Foods general manager, identified only as Sekete, said: “I only know of the eviction and property attachment at the Chihoyi branch. If this is occurring at other branches as well, then I am yet to be informed.”
Scores of workers, who alleged they suffered unfair labour practices at the hands of the Chinese-owned retailer, were reportedly in a quandary.
Employees claimed the unidentified Chinese owner had not paid them their salaries since April, and did not remit their National Social Security Authority pension contributions for the last two years.
Funeral policy deductions were also not being remitted to a named funeral assurance firm, the workers, who were reportedly forced to work “short hours”, further claimed.
Afro Foods entered a three-year lease agreement with CFI Holdings for the takeover of former Town and Country branches which it operated under the Afro Foods banner. The deal was set to expire in April next year.