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Council under fire for operating without fire tender

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Council under fire for operating without fire tender


Ellen Mlambo

CHIPINGE-The business community in Chipinge has expressed disgust at Chipinge Town Council (CTC) for allegedly failing to prioritise the procurement of a fire tender.
The community said fire has razed down six buildings in a year. The recent fire broke out on Wednesday and destroyed two buildings with wares valued at US$146 000.
Chipinge Town Community Association (CTCA) coordinator and public relations officer Amato Rungano said residents are paying for fire tender services, and the council should fulfil its obligation by procuring it.
“The local authority is not prioritising procurement of a fire tender, yet residents are paying for that service. Council should also prioritise protective clothing for its employees,” said Rungano.
Chipinge Business Initiative (CBI) vice chairperson Violet Banda echoed the same sentiments but urged the business community to switch off electrical appliances before leaving their premises.
“When the fire broke out, council firefighters had to go and fetch more water. Re-funding these businesses is not easy. We also encourage the public to be vigilant and switch off gadgets when they are not using them,” she said.
However, acting town secretary James Mutemera said a fire tender is their top procurement priority. He also said the business community should train on electrical appliances.
“A fire tender is on top of our priority list. A fire tender, however, reduces the spread of fire but does not stop fires from breaking out. Some businesspeople leave appliances on, and when electricity switches on, we have these issues,” said Mutemera.
The two buildings razed down by a fire suspected to have started from a chip fryer on Wednesday last week, around 9 pm, are in Joubert Street.
One of the buildings is owned by Tarisai Munyebvu, popularly known as Tsuro. His son Talent told Chipinge Times that the building valued at US$70 000 and the wares in the shop valued at US$50 000 were lost.
Wilbert Zvawanda rents the other building. He lost wares worth US$18 204 and hired assets valued at US$7 796.

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