By Steve Ephraem
Chipinge-businessman recently lost property worth millions of dollars to fire that broke out at his newly established motor spares business in town.
ABB Motor Spares and Accessories in Chipinge’s Main Street on the night of February 22, 2022 left many Chipinge entrepreneurs in the eastern town worried if their properties may also fell to prey.
ABB Motor Spares and Accessories shop is tenant to Sirdar Building, one of the oldest structures in the farming town that was built in before 1980. Sirdar Building is one of the buildings visible in photos of the town which were taken in the 1970s.
The motor spares shop was opened recently in Chipinge that it is presumed that it had not realised any meaning profits from its business, on injected capital on shop establishment, renovations, stock and levies.
When the building caught fire Chipinge Town Council (CTC) was the first one to react by sending a fire tender to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, the CTC fire tender couldn’t contain the blaze then The Wattle Company in Chimanimani had to send its fire equipment to back-up which finally contained the fire.
Chipinge business persons took to social media platform, WhatsApp, to utter their frustration on how the town council seems to be still wanting in terms of fire preparedness and also the business sector’s uncertainty in case of another fire.
“We continue to lose valuable investments…in less than 3 months we have two major fires causing property damage. How do we grow as a town?” asked one business owner.
“A proper fire tender is needed not a small one. Look it took less than 20 minutes to put out the fire when the [Wattle Company] fire tender arrived,” said another concerned entrepreneur.
“Chipinge Town Council should work hand in glove with us ratepayers. Anything done with us is for us and anything without us is not for us,” added another Chipimge resident.
Local authorities across the country still facing challenges in fight fire due to lack of technics, procurement of fire tenders which im mpst cases fail to put out the fire and water challenges in some towns.