PROPERTY and goods worth over $500 000 went up in smoke yesterday following a fire outbreak, which gutted several shops at Unit M in Seke, Chitungwiza.
BY SOFIA MAPURANGA
The fire, believed to have been sparked by an electrical fault in one of the shops, was extinguished two hours later by fire fighters from Harare.
Affected shop owners blasted their local authority for taking too long to react to the emergency.
“Their response was very poor,” Mutizwa Mandizvidza, one of the shop owners, said.
“They (Chitungwiza municipality) brought a truck without water. They came here and joined the crowd as spectators while the fire was spreading,” another shop owner said.
Chitungwiza mayor, Philip Mutoti, said he was equally shocked by the conduct of the council personnel.
He revealed that Chitungwiza municipality recently acquired a fire tender, which was delivered three weeks ago from the United Kingdom.
“I am equally shocked that council brought a truck without water, yet we recently bought a state-of-the-art fire truck, which I believe had the potential to put out this fire within minutes before it had spread.
“We are going to meet tomorrow, as council, and see how we can assist the people who have lost their properties,” he said.
Mutoti urged residents to protect their buildings from fire.
“People should switch off their plugs and other electrical gadgets when they finish using them at the end of the day to avoid such tragedies, which have the potential to cost human lives,” he said.