ICONIC CITY PUB, KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD, HAS NOW HIT THE HARD TIMES . . . Workers yet to receive salaries since January

Mathew Masinge

SOME disgruntled workers at The Centurion Pub & Grill, which has been graced by some of the world’s greatest cricketers over the years, claim they have now gone for close to four months without receiving their salaries.

It is known around the world, especially in cricket playing countries.

The pub, which is housed at the Harare Sports Club is the go-to place, for drinks, when the country hosts international cricket matches and some of the world’s best cricketers.

The workers claim the only money they have received in the last four months were payments ranging from US$40 to US$60.

One of the workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they last received a part of their salaries in January.

“We are a total of 11 workers at the Pub & Grill and it is common cause that we are all disgruntled.

“It’s been four months now without our salaries and every time we bring this up with the management we are quickly shot down.

“The only money we got were part payments ranging from US$40 to US$60, depending on our roles,” said the source.

The source said their working conditions have been deteriorating with each passing day.

“The management is reluctant, they expect us to come to work every day without any remuneration, they even tell us that there is no money even after good days.

“They don’t want to address our challenges and sometimes we use our own money to pay for utilities, including Zesa tokens.”

Contacted for comment, Centurion Pub n Grill manager, Jacqueline Nettleton, initially demanded to know the identity of the workers who had raised the complaints.

“Can I have names of the workers who came to complain at H-Metro, if you can’t do that then there is nothing to explain,” she said.

However, later, she provided a comprehensive explanation of the situation at the pub.

“As a business owner, I and the business are not spared from some of the negative market forces that leave us in a liquidity quagmire in the midst of a slow season where sports events and the number of patrons coming to the bar and restaurant are slowly shrinking. 

“We want to assure everyone that, like any passionate team facing temporary setbacks, we’re strategising for a resounding victory. 

“As you know, the hospitality industry isn’t immune to recent economic challenges, including rising food costs, supply chain challenges and our biggest hurdle being unsettled bills that could easily bring us back in the black. 

“These hurdles have caused a temporary cash-flow hurdle at Centurion Pub & Grill but as you have seen, the cricket is coming back soon and it hands us a great cash flow that brings us to normalcy and we can hedge off our non-paid bills. 

“This influx will allow us to not only fulfil all outstanding employee compensation but also settle any creditor obligations. 

“We value our dedicated staff more than words can express, before taking ownership of the business I was one of these staff members and we still share that bond.”

She added: 

“Their hard work and passion are the foundation of our success. I am free to discuss with you further if you need any clarity on any matters, as a business owner I have an open-door policy and I can give you a response on any other matter.”

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