What Caused The Chegutu Market Fire?
24 February 2024
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By Farai D Hove | In a devastating incident at Chegutu Bus Terminus, a fire outbreak has obliterated eight market stalls, resulting in substantial financial losses for the stallholders involved. The blaze, which erupted around midnight on Tuesday, has left vendors in despair, with damages estimated nearly at US$50,000. The cause of the fire remains undetermined, adding to the distress of those affected. .

Stallholders, grappling with the sudden destruction of their livelihoods, are in dire need of support to resume operations. “We do not know how we are going to recover from this devastating blow. I lost an inventory worth about US$6500,” shared one of the vendors, highlighting the immediate impact on individuals who relied on the market for their income.

The fire’s intensity was such that it left nothing behind, consuming not only the wares but also the infrastructure, including the roofing material. Mr. Jealous Phiri, the Chairperson of the market, expressed his dismay, stating that the Chegutu Fire Brigade’s efforts were insufficient to curb the inferno’s wrath, leading to a total loss.

In response to the tragedy, Chegutu West legislator Cde Shakemore Timburwa visited the site to evaluate the damages and extend his support to the victims. “What we see here is painful, and we are here to see how best the affected families can be helped to recover,” Timburwa remarked. He emphasized the need for future protective measures, suggesting collaborations with insurance companies to develop tailored packages for vendors, ensuring their resilience against such calamities.

The community now faces the challenging task of rebuilding, with the legislator taking steps to ascertain the requirements for restoring the market. This incident has sparked a conversation on the importance of safety measures and insurance in safeguarding the livelihoods of small-scale vendors against unforeseen disasters.

As the investigation into the cause of the fire continues, the focus remains on the immediate relief for those affected and the implementation of long-term solutions to prevent such incidents in the future. The Chegutu community stands together in solidarity, looking towards recovery and revitalization of the local economy impacted by this unfortunate event.