Beitbridge municipality firefighters in poor show

Local News
File pic

BEITBRIDGE Municipality firefighters put up an appalling show at a house fire incident in the border town yesterday.

Despite having taken delivery of state-of-the-art fire tenders sourced by the government from Belarus, the firemen’s failure to operate the modern machinery stole the show amid revelations that only one elderly firefighter had been trained.

The trained firefighter is said to be selfish with his knowledge and even the keys of the vehicle which only came to the scene after the town treasurer Anymore Mbedzi intervened.

Mbedzi ordered a hesitant refuse compactor driver to drive to the fire scene after other firemen refused, fearing their boss one Phiri.

But that was the start of “part two” of the show.

None of the firemen could operate the new machine. Phiri, in his 60s, reportedly never shared information after council spent substantial amounts of money on his training at Harare City Council so that he could train others.

Apparently he is the only trained fireman and was accused of not willing to train co-workers, let alone allow them to drive the new machine.

Another fireman, who secretly trained himself, had to be sought but the fire did not wait for the tomfoolery.

By the time he arrived at the scene, the fire had spread.

Occupants who rent the property managed to take out their valuables but the room where the fire  started had everything burnt.

“I am disappointed by this. It is bad and embarrassing,” Beitbridge town clerk Loud Ramakgapola said.

Senator Tambudzani Mohadi, who was among the people who gathered to offer help said the situation was embarrassing and very unfortunate.

“These are the emergencies we talk about and any fire team must be on standby for such. Life and property should be protected and this is a sad development if people fail to stop such fires because they cannot operate machinery,” she said.

A resident Beji Muleya said the incident reflected badly on the local authority.

“They should be here with us and seeing how their officers work. We would want to see them helping stranded victims of this fire with comfort and offering alternative accommodation solutions and ideas,” said Muleya.

Mellisa Ncube, representing   the owner of the house, the late Sobala Ncube, said she was away and would go to the place to see the damage.

Tenants at the house said the fire may have been a result of an electrical fault.

“We reported this to her several times. We were no longer using lights as these would cause frightening sparks. It was an accident left to happen,” said one of the tenants.

“We managed to take out some stuff but the room where it started everything was destroyed,” he said while asking for anonymity.

Sorrowful tenants watched in shock and awe as the fire engulfed the house.

“What is the point in investing in an old man who is never at the scene on time when there are youths with the zeal to win? Beitbridge has not won a single fight against a fire even with the new equipment,” said a resident.


Related Topics