Namibia: The Kitchen Fails to Pay Workers On Time

Employees at a local restaurant and bar, The Kitchen (located at Freedom Plaza in Windhoek), are allegedly struggling to make ends meet because of non-payment of wages.

Owned by a Namibian actor, radio presenter and businessman, Tshoopara Tshoopara (better known as Chops), The Kitchen is one of the popular chilling spots in town.

One of the employees at The Kitchen, who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said they can go up to two months without getting paid and when they finally get paid they do not get the full amount of money due to them.

"We also get deducted a lot of money, for instance, if I am supposed to get paid N$1 000 for two weeks, they will deduct about N$700 and I will only be left with N$300, which is not enough to sustain me."

The Kitchen is known for mostly employing students who are at tertiary institutions and they allegedly find it hard to survive without getting paid because they work for 10 hours a day and they still go to school.

New Era managed to talk to two managers at The Kitchen, who refused to mention their names and could not say the number of employees they have. The managers denied allegations that employees are not paid. One of the managers said the restaurant has a problem of theft by some employees.

"If somebody was caught stealing from the restaurant or bar, doesn't he or she deserve to be deducted money for theft? They also work on commission; their salaries depend on how hard they work. The other thing is that no one gets paid after two months; it never happens," said the manager, who also claimed they lose about N$3 000 per day because of theft. Apart from lack of payment, the employee also complained about the firing of employees for minor reasons.

The employee mentioned that last week six of her colleagues were fired and it is easy for employees to be fired for no reason because they did not sign any contract when they were employed.

The managers, who for some minutes debated on the number of people fired, ended up not providing an accurate answer, as one confirmed that six people were fired and the other one denied it. Tshoopara was not available for comment. However, New Era was informed there is CCTV of some workers taking drinks from the bar illegally.

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