Blessings Chidakwa Municipality Correspondent
Harare City Council is set to convert its bars into service stations and shopping malls with plans already underway to dissolve Rufaro Marketing’s board, an official has said.
Rufaro Marketing is a council-run firm running beer gardens across the city, but reportedly closed in 2012, after failing to service a debt of over $5 million, with the loss being attributed to poor management, rampant theft and maladministration.
Harare mayor Councillor Hebert Gomba said the dissolution of the board was unavoidable.
“City of Harare is going to dissolve the Rufaro Marketing board and company to retain control of its assets in view of the damage being done to its assets by those renting the bars.
“Going forward, the city intends to partner with the fuel industry in use of some of these bars, converting some to fuel stations and turning others into small shopping malls,” he said.
Clr Gomba said the beer halls had become derelict, disused and virtual failures.
“Our responsibility is to maintain municipal assets in good shape. This cannot continue, these illegal activities in municipal bars must end and this council must end it.
“Numerous illegal extensions have happened without approvals, tuckshops have been created in bars, bringing a situation where we must act,” he said.
Rufaro Marketing is reported to have offered six outlets to retrenched workers under an empowerment programme that saw 27 former employees being granted the use of the beer halls for free as part of their retrenchment packages.
The company is said to have sent its remaining 269 workers on forced leave pending their transfer to Harare City Council.
Other employees received retrenchment packages.