An employee at Ingwebu Breweries in Bulawayo collapsed and died at the Brewery’s depot.Sindiso Mlalazi (53), a Miller in the Production Department, died on Thursday morning.
Mlalazi, who was popularly known as Kabila, informed others that he was weak and sat down before he collapsed and died.His fellow employees who preferred anonymity said he had not complained of pain and was not suffering from any ailments that they knew of.
“We suspect that he could have died of hunger and stress as we have not received full salaries since October last year,” said a colleague, who declined to be named.
The colleague, who was close to Mlalazi, added: “Kabila has always been a strong and hard working man although of late he usually complained of hunger like many other employees within the company.
“This morning he said he was weak and stepped away from the machines and sat down. After a few minutes, we saw him collapse and as we tried to render first aid, he died”.
Bulawayo Police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident and said investigation were underway.
“We are investigating a case of sudden death involving a man who passed away at work. Investigations are in progress to determine the cause of his death,” said Insp Simango.
Ingwebu Sales, Marketing and Corporate Affairs manager, Mr Nkosana Prince Ndlovu, confirmed Mr Mlalazi’s death.
“As an organisation, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family on the passing on of Mlalazi. It will not be easy to cover the gap he has left.“We are not qualified to determine the cause of death, this being the purview of a qualified medical practitioner through a post mortem,” he said.
Asked to comment on reports that the company was not paying its workers, Mr Ndlovu said Ingwebu was facing challenges like most firms in the country.
“All companies are in some distress or another because the whole country is not performing. Some companies are on short time, some on two weeks in, two weeks out because of the need to save jobs, companies resort to various measures to spread their limited cash flows.
“Notwithstanding that salaries are in arrears, employees are getting their salaries on a monthly basis. A strategy has been worked out to deal with arrears.Whatever employees get would never be enough for their needs; salaries are determined by the relevant national employment council,” he said.
Early this month, our sister paper, Sunday News reported that the Ingwebu Breweries had been thrown into turmoil amid revelations that the brewery is on the brink of collapse due to alleged mismanagement and corruption levelled against the management.
Due to the problems being faced at the brewery company — the Bulawayo City Council, which is the sole shareholder — had to engage auditors to investigate the reasons behind the problems at the company.