Peter Matika [email protected]
ZANU-PF candidate for the Emakhandeni-Luveve National Assembly seat Cde Brian Samuriwo’s kind gesture to rebuild a house that was razed by fire last Sunday has hit a snag, after the owner of the property could not be located with the tenants also having moved from the suburb.
Cde Samuriwo, during a health expo held in the suburb last Saturday, pledged to rebuild the two-roomed house within a week, as he said he has excess building material and has builders at his disposal. One tenant occupied the house and was lucky to escape unharmed when the house caught fire about a fortnight ago.
While the cause of the fire has not yet been established, a fire brigade report noted that preliminary investigations indicated that an unattended lit candle could have caused it while residents suspect floor polish-making to have caused the fire.
“My team and I went to examine the amount of damage that had been dealt to a house by fire in my constituency. I was told the house burnt down during the night.
So, I wanted to extend a kind gesture to the affected but then it all hit a snag when I discovered that the occupants were just tenants that were renting the house.
The owner of the house who neighbours say is one Patrick Dube’s whereabouts are unknown,” said Cde Samuriwo.
He said it was a pity that his pledge to have the house rebuilt within a week could not be met as the owner of the house was yet to be notified about what had transpired.
Cde Samuriwo said shelter was a basic human right and his intention to fast-track the rebuilding of the house was a genuine concern.
“We all need shelter; it is a basic human right and my heart sank when I learned how someone has been unfortunate to lose their belongings and could have possibly been left homeless.
Nonetheless, as soon as the owner is located, I will uphold my pledge and all other pledges that I have made to the community,” he said.
Property that includes a bed, cupboard, wardrobe, four plate stove and other household property was lost in the inferno, with the fire brigade estimating its value to be around $20 million.
“Fire broke out at a two-roomed private residential house in Emakhandeni and was built of brick under asbestos sheets.
Fire was out on arrival but the house was extensively damaged by fire with the asbestos sheets over one room blown off by the fire and the property in that room completely gutted by the fire.
The fire involved mainly one room of the two-roomed house and the suspected cause of the fire was a lit candle left unattended.
The fire was extinguished by neighbours using sand and buckets of water,” read a report from the fire department. However, residents suspect that the cause of the fire could have been from floor polish making.
“The occupant at that house is into floor polish-making business. And as you know, in this business they use paraffin which is highly flammable and a key ingredient in producing their product.
The smoke that comes into my house from my neighbour is severe. As you can see my walls have changed colour. I have even blocked the air ventilators with newspapers to reduce the smoke.
I have even deserted my bedroom and occupied the sitting room together with my children because it has been severely affecting us through coughing and other chronic effects,” said a neighbour who declined to be named.
Ms Junior Dube who is alleged to be the floor polish producer could not be reached for comment.