Prominent banker Mr Doug Munatsi, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) who died in an inferno early this morning at a block of flats in Harare, had actually alerted fellow tenants of the fire.
Owners of the flats at Northfields block said in a statement that the other tenants then called the City of Harare Fire Brigade, which managed to put out the fire, but unfortunately could not save Mr Munatsi.
Mr Munatsi died in the fire in his 9th floor flat at the block located at the corner of Fifth Street and Josiah Tongogara Avenue.
Northfields Owners Association chairman only identified as C Gardiner said in the statement: “The association wishes to advise stakeholders that at approximately 02.50AM, on Monday 29th November, a fire was detected by the occupant of flat C9 in Northfields.
“There was no electricity at the time due to a cable fault. The occupant in C10 heard commotion and noise, and went to his balcony to investigate further.
“There, he heard from the occupant of C9 that there was a fire and he asked to call the fire brigade. At 02.59, the fire brigade was called, and they arrived at 03.11.
“They fought the blaze for two hours, and despite their efforts, they were unable to save the occupant of C9, who is believed to be Mr Douglas Munatsi.”
Gardiner said had the fire brigade not responded to the call, the fire could have caused more damage.
“Thanks must be given to the professionalism and endeavors of the City of Harare Fire Brigade,” said Gardner.
“Without their intervention, is it very likely that more lives would have been lost and more property destroyed.
“The Association has engaged the services of a forensic fire investigator to assess the cause the of the fire.”
Police sources said they were still investigating the case.
Apart from leading ZIDA, Mr Munatsi was also a successful farmer and former BancABC chief executive.