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ngwebu Breweries had to throw away nine tonnes of maize after a finger belonging to an employee who was injured while on duty was discovered in one of the maize silos.

According to a source, the incident took place on 11 December. When the finger was discovered, workers were reportedly preparing maize for grinding to be used in the production of opaque beer (masese).

“It was a shock to us. Many people ran away because for the years that I have worked here, I have been used to seeing dead rats but not this. It was a traumatising experience,” said the source.

The witness said after people became calm, various conspiracy theories started flying around.

“People were speculating that someone could have been murdered and his body chopped and thrown into the silo where the maize was being kept. Some suspected that their colleagues could be using juju to rise to top positions,” said the source.

The suspicions were put to rest after investigations pointed to the source of the finger being a worker who lost four fingers while loading maize on a conveyor belt three months ago.

It is reported that after the incident, the company officials ordered that all the maize in the silo should not be used. However, only three fingers were discovered and consequently the silo was put under lock and key.

“We were told that the maize was going to be thrown away following the incident. For three months the silo had been closed until recently,” said the source.

The company’s marketing manager, Mr Themba Sibanda, confirmed the incident.

“We do confirm that an accident of that nature took place at our maize conveyor section. The employee is still off sick but the company is in touch with him. Appropriate raw material handling was done to ensure product safety. The ‘contaminated’ maize was disposed of appropriately and was not used for production (of masese),” he said in a written response.

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