Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma
Kadoma residents on Tuesday blamed the city for failing to contain the fire that destroyed three shops in the city last night.
Edgars, Jet and Coloursel shops went up in flames,resulting in the destruction of furniture and clothing items worth thousands of dollars.
The fire started around 2100hrs, but by the time the fire brigade from Chegutu, which is about 33km away, arrived everything had been burnt to ashes.
Another back-up fire brigade from Rio Zim also came to assist, but the damage had already been done.
While the cause of the fire was not yet established, workers from one of the shops suspected that it could have been caused by an electrical fault.
Kadoma Residents’ Association chairman Mr Wikirosi Mutizira blasted council for failing to act.
“The fire department is rotten,” he said. “This is now the third consecutive time they have failed to contain fire outbreaks.
“Last month we had a fire in Ingezi and they came with an empty bowser.
“The latest fire incident is actually an embarrassment, with council failing to deal with a fire outbreak just less than five kilometres away from its fire station.”
Kadoma businessman Mr Hardday Mandawa also lashed out at council’s failure to contain the fire.
“The City of Kadoma does not have any fire engines, but during the diesel shortages its two vehicles that act as fire engines would get first preference at a local service station, but we are surprised that these vehicles are not working,” he said.
Kadoma mayor Councillor Action Nyamukondiwa said while the cause of the fire was yet to be established, council was not to blame for the destruction of the shops.
“What happened yesterday (Tuesday) evening is very unfortunate and with investigations on the cause of the fire ongoing, I don’t think anyone is to blame and the town clerk was also at the site,” he said.
“We are working well with management and service delivery is our priority, nothing else. If residents are not happy they must come to my office, we will talk and clear up the grey areas. My office is open.”
Clr Nyamukondiwa said council did everything in its power to contain the inferno.
“The fire brigade received the call at 2050hrs and left the workshop two minutes later with the bowser and the pump carrying 10 000 litres of water,” he said.
“The crew reached the scene four minutes later while advising ZESA to switch off power to the area and this was done immediately.
“They started fighting the fire immediately while assistance was received from Rio Zim, Chegutu Municipality and Jason Ziyaphapha Airbase, while City of Kwekwe was also notified, but their fire tender is down.”