GWERU City Council security guards yesterday threatened to shoot an official from the deputy sheriff’s office as he tried to attach the local authority’s vehicles over $69,000 owed to former workers.
Police picked up two security guards for questioning following the scuffle at the revenue hall.
The Chronicle observed a senior official from the deputy sheriff’s office only identified as Kapfudzaruva desperately trying to escape from the clutches of the council’s cash-in-transit security officers.
“We don’t know you. You could be a robber. We’ll deal with you,” one of the security guards shouted.
The deputy sheriff had already attached more than 10 vehicles including Toyota Rangers and Toyota Hiluxes belonging to the directors of finance and acting chamber secretary. Refuse trucks and inspection vehicles were towed away at around 9AM, bringing service delivery to a standstill.
The chairperson of the commission running the affairs of Gweru, Tsunga Mhangami, was at a loss for words over the development.
He cast a lonely figure at the Town House car park, watching as the service vehicles were being towed away. He said he knew nothing about the writ of execution.
“I know nothing about this. I’m shocked,” is all Mhangami could say before calling an emergency meeting.
However, it was later established that council lost a case against 10 of its former workers at Go Beer Breweries Company.
Sources at Town House said the former workers, led by Professor Bhebhe, took the local authority to court demanding $69,000 in outstanding salaries, bonuses and back pay.
Go Beer Breweries, which was wholly owned by the City of Gweru, shut down in March 2014 due to technical and financial constraints.
Go Beer Breweries employed 188 employees full time and more than 20 on contract.
The company comprised a brewery, 13 beerhalls and numerous outlets in and around Gweru.
The city council is saddled with a $33 million debt to service providers and workers.