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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Investigations on cause of Harare inferno underway

Story by Peter Chivhima

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is working with Harare City Council’s Fire Brigade Department to establish the causes of an inferno that razed down a building in the Harare Central Business District this Wednesday.

A downtown shopping mall in Harare was razed down by fire this Wednesday destroying property and goods worth thousands of United States dollars.

All hands are now on the deck to determine the cause of the inferno and the extent of damage.

A visit to the building this Wednesday was met with despair among stall owners who are still counting their losses.

“We are still in pain that all what I had worked for since the beginning of this year had gone in flames. Look at the remains of bicycles that was all I had and I know how I will survive in this situation,” said a shop owner.

Another said, “For me, the pain is unbearable because I had just bought the staff to the tune of US$2 000 but look, the fire just came and to make matters worse the fire brigade failed to assist us. It is so devastating.”

The ZRP is working with the Harare City Council to establish the cause of the inferno.

“We can confirm that as the ZRP we are still working together with the Harare City Council fire brigade department to establish what caused the fire and how much was lost. We are also worried that some people were blocking the fire tender until the police intervened,” said the ZRP National spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

The Harare City Council and government concur on the need to put in place measures to avoid fire incidences of this nature.

Harare City Council Mayor, Mr Ian Makone said, “From what I have observed here, it shows that we as the Harare City Council need to re-strategise our working system because look at that shop opposite to us, there is no order. It means that when the fire breaks, the same incident is going to happen, it is so sad. What we are seeing is devastating.”

Harare City Council fire brigade officer, Mr Lovemore Mafukidze said, “The situation here is so sad and disturbing. What we have discovered is that people are mixing goods some are selling perfumes or flammables and in case of fire it will be very difficult to extinguish.”

“A lot needs to be done so that we serve this country from the recurrence of these fires,” said urban planning expert, Dr Shingirai Mushamba.

This is not the first fire incident which has left small business operators in a quandary after a recent inferno left small and medium entrepreneurs counting their losses in Bulawayo and Glen View in Harare.

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