MASVINGO — Three chalets at the Great Zimbabwe Monuments lodges were reduced to rubble while property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed by a suspected veld fire on Monday afternoon.
By Tatenda Chitagu
The fire is believed to have broken out near the Masvingo Rural District Council offices, south of the site and spread to the thatched lodges and toilets.
When the NewsDay visited the site at around 5pm, Masvingo Fire Brigade was trying to douse the flames.
The world heritage site is located 30 kilometres south-east of Masvingo town.
Some property from the lodges, owned by the Monuments and Heritage Department, were strewn outside the lodges.
Great Zimbabwe monuments site regional manager, Lovemore Mandima, said when the fire broke out, villagers, as well as some fire guards surrounding the site, failed to stop it due the strong winds that cut across the province yesterday.
“We really applaud the timely intervention by the fire brigade, as well as the villagers’ efforts in trying to stop the fire and salvage some property from the chalets.
“We have more than 20 fireguards, but that did not help stop the fire from spreading this side,” he said.
Mandima said that the fire did not spread to the world acclaimed monuments.
The cause of the fire was not yet known yesterday, with several conflicting versions abound.
Some said it could have been a reckless smoker, while others believe villagers from the area could have started the fire while hunting for mice.