GWERU City Council is sitting on a time bomb as the local authority is operating without any functional fire tender, a senior official has revealed.
Council finance director Edgar Mwedzi said if there were to be any major fire outbreaks in Gweru there is a danger that property would be razed to the ground as all fire tenders are grounded.
“At the moment all our fire tenders are grounded and if the city is to experience any major fire outbreaks, shops, buildings and other property face the risk of total destruction,” Mwedzi told stakeholders at a 2014 budget consultative meeting in the city on Friday.
“The issue of our fire tenders is one critical area that we need to look at in the 2014 budget,” Mwedzi said.
In September, 21 vehicles, including three kombis were reduced to shells when a veld fire spread to a garage in the city’s light industrial area.
At that time, council chief fire officer Emmanuel Musemwa admitted that his department lacked resources to handle fires and at times relied on Thornhill Airbase fire tenders in cases of emergencies.
Gweru needs six fire tenders, but has been relying on two, which have since broken down.
In the past, several houses have been destroyed with one house in Mkoba 17 razed to ashes last year as both the owner and the city’s fire officers watched helplessly because of the lack of fire equipment to douse the flames.