l Kombucha also included in City blitz l Drinks blamed for workplace binges
Mathew Masinge in HARARE and George Maponga in MASVINGO
THEY are among favourite and top-selling drinks consumed by tens of thousands of Zimbabweans, every day.
But, for those who are running Masvingo City Council, it’s now a disciplinary issue for any of their employees to be seen drinking Kambucha and Kombucha while at work.
Both drinks have been available in Zimbabwe since 2019 and are mostly found in small shops around the capital.
Kambucha, which comes in varieties, is a drink made from ginger, garlic, lemon, honey, rosemary and black pepper.
Kombucha, which has its roots in Zambia, is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black tea drink.
So, why have the Masvingo City Council leaders decided to ban the drinks from their premises?
Town Clerk, Edward Mukaratirwa claims there is alcohol in these two drinks, which have been widely available in this country since 2019.
Their consumption, he says, has contributed to the situation they have been facing where many of their employees were working under the influence of alcohol.
There has been a rise in alcohol and drug abuse among its employees.
Repeated attempts to get a comment from the management at Kambucha were not successful yesterday.
The Masvingo City Council’s experts suspect there is alcohol in the two drinks and this was having an intoxicating effect on some of their employees. An internal notice sent to all departments highlighted the issue of drug and alcohol abuse among workers at the municipality.
The notice was prompted by visible signs of intoxication among some employees, with some even lacing the Kambucha/Kombucha drinks with illicit drugs such as mutoriro.
“We noticed rampant drug abuse across all departments within our employees in the lower ranks, especially those who were in rehabilitation for alcohol and drug abuse.
“Besides, the Kambucha drink itself contains alcohol which some of our streetwise workers were actually lacing with illicit drugs such as mutoriro under the guise of drinking an energy drink,” said Mukaratirwa.
Last week, council wrote to all its departments stating that most of their employees were abusing drugs.
“The notice (against the abuse of Kambucha/Kombucha) was an internal communication which leaked to the outside, but it was inspired by rampant drug and alcohol abuse by some of our workers. We discovered that most of our employees were taking drugs and alcohol at work and this was evident through visible signs of intoxication hence we resolved to outlaw Kambucha drinking,” Mukaratirwa said.