Power challenges delay Go Beer re-opening

GWERU mayor Martin Chivhoko

GWERU mayor Martin Chivhoko has said the servicing of equipment at the local authority’s beer concern, Go Beer, is complete but incessant power cuts are affecting its re-opening.

Addressing a full council meeting last week, Chivhoko said the local authority expected to resolve the power challenges by October this year.

“We have completed servicing existing equipment, repaired boilers and received a new automated machine for the ‘Shake Shake’ product,” he said.

“However, we are facing delays in re-opening due to power supply issues, which we hope will be resolved by October 2024.”

Chivhoko said the Go Beer investment would not only revitalise the brewery industry in the Midlands capital, but also create jobs while stimulating economic growth.

He said operations at Go Beer Farm were progressing well, adding that the farm would provide raw materials for the brewery.

“At Go Beer Farm, we have planted 23 hectares of wheat which are at different stages of growth. This project (Go Beer Farm) will not only provide raw materials for the brewery but will also contribute to the country’s food security,” he said.

Go Beer’s resuscitation comes after several years of promises by previous city fathers to revamp the defunct company.

In July 2020, council announced that it had partnered an unnamed “giant” opaque beer manufacturer for the revival of Go Beer, but the deal reportedly collapsed.

Go Beer was closed in 2014 after years of alleged plunder by management of the beer firm.

During that same year after council announced it had shut down Go Beer, municipal police and auditors immediately took over and locked beerhalls around the city to institute a probe of the company’s business activities, but to date, no culprits have been brought to book.

At its closure, the beer establishment was reeling under a US$2,6 million debt and was failing to honour its obligations with the Local Authorities Pension Fund.

Since the dollarisation of the economy in 2009, the cash-strapped local authority has bankrolled the beer concern to the tune of US$2 208 914, which has been channelled towards payment of Go Beer creditors and former employees who sued council.

The beer concern lost equipment and cattle, which were attached to cater for retrenchment costs although council in 2018, managed to pay packages to all retrenched workers.

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