Gweru faces fire tender shortages

Gweru City Council is operating with three functional fire tenders out of a possible six, a situation that compromises on effective mitigation against loss of human life and property, NewsDay has learnt.

BY Stephen Chadenga

Speaking last week, at the commissioning of a fire tender donated by Mimosa Mining Company, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Owen Ncube urged the local authority to prioritise its civil protection unit by allocating it more resources.

“I am advised that the City of Gweru has three fire tenders out of a possible six,” Ncube said.

“I want to urge Gweru City Council, whose civil protection section is currently facing challenges owing to old fleet to keep this life and property saving vehicle in top condition. Your vision has received a major boost today by the arrival from Mimosa Mining Company of this state-of-the-art fire tender.”

Ncube urged the corporate world to emulate Mimosa and donate towards civil protection in the city.

He said the city required two more fire tenders and three ambulances for the city to adequately cover emergency services.

In 2013, 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 the department lacked resources to handle fires and at times relied on Thornhill Airbase fire tenders in cases of emergencies.

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