Gweru City Council is locked in talks with an unnamed investor to revive the local authority’s beer concern, Go Beer, in a bid to start operations this year, it has been established.
Mayor Martin Chivhoko said the resuscitation of Go beer was a top priority for council as the business entity used to be council’s cash cow.
“We are engaging with the investor because we want to start manufacturing our Go Beer brand,” Chivhoko said.
“As a council, we are evaluating our Go Beer assets so that we enter into partnership with the investor we bring to the table the value of the equipment at the beer manufacturing plant.”
The local authority’s stance on Go Beer comes after several years of promises by previous councils to revamp the defunct company.
In July 2020, council announced that it had partnered an unnamed “giant” beer manufacturer for the revival of Go Beer but the deal reportedly collapsed.
The previous council led by former mayor Hamutendi Kombayi once called on management to compile a report on Go Beer Breweries before the local authority entertained any plans to re-take the revival of the business entity.
No such report has since been availed to stakeholders.
Go Beer was closed in 2014 after years of plunder by management running the affairs at the beer firm.
During that same year after the 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 into the company’s business activities but to date no culprits have been brought to book.
Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association Trust director David Chikore said the council needed to stop shifting goal posts in revamping Go Beer.
“The endless promises on Go Beer should stop and we now need tangible results,” he said.
At its closure, the beer establishment was reeling under a US$2.6 million debt and was failing to honour its obligations at the Local Authorities Pension Fund.
The cash-strapped local authority has to date bankrolled the beer concern to the tune of US$2 208 914 towards the payment of former Go-Beer creditors and employees who had sued the council.
The beer concern also lost equipment and cattle, which were attached to cover retrenchment costs.