Flour shortages force Lobels to shut down Bulawayo plant again

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

LOBELS bakery on Friday reportedly indefinitely closed its Bulawayo plant due to dwindling flour stocks.

Workers at the plant told they were told to go home for an unspecified period until flour supplies have been secured.

“Our Bulawayo plant closed on Friday. We have exhausted all our flour stocks. Management only said they will recall us after the situation has improved. They said we will not be paid while we are at home,” said a worker who refused to be named for victimisation.

Lobels Chief Executive officer Ngoni Mazango who is also Bakers Association President, could not be reached via his mobile presumably owning to network challenges which affected Econet subscribers on Saturday.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) spokesperson, Garikai Chaunza could not proffer any response either, saying the questions could be best answered by the bread maker.

This is the second time within a month the company has closed the plant.

In June this year, the firm also closed both the Bulawayo and Harare plants owing to similar challenges.

Workers at the Bulawayo plant also told this publication that the incessant power cuts have also taken their toll on the country’s oldest bread maker which employs about 500 people in Bulawayo and 900 in Harare.

Last month, GMAZ announced that wheat stocks in the country have drastically reduced.

In a statement, the organisation said was in the process of consulting the central bank in attempts to unlock much needed foreign currency to secure the release of the staple cereal from Beira, Mozambique and Harare.