By Nhau Mangirazi
The small and medium enterprises complex in Karoi central business district was gutted by fire destroying goods worth thousands of dollars this afternoon.
The fire is suspected to have started due to an electrical fault.
Several goods including cell phones, clothes and electrical gadgets were destroyed in the inferno.
There was no immediate response from Karoi town council fire department.
Council chairman Abel Matsika confirmed that the local authority failed to help affected.
“It is true we have received the sad news of an electrical fault that set ablaze a Superbake SMS complex. They came seeking assistance but town secretary (Wellington Mutikani) told them the fire tender is down. Spares have been ordered. We have been caught unaware and we need to revisit on our priorities. The fire tender is a must of all machinery that we need as a town,” said Matsika in a telephone interview.
Matsika said they will be engaging the local SMS office, Civil Protection Unit among other stakeholders to help the affected.
“The fire has destroyed livelihoods of several hundreds of families and we must help as a matter of urgency. It is unfortunate that majority of them are just starting up business,” added Matsika.
The affected informal traders expressed concern over Karoi town council’s failure to capacitate the fire department .
“Karoi council has failed its own residents as the fire broke out in CBD and it exposes our leadership,” said one vendor, Charles Dakura.