By Constance Chitombo
Garikai fruit and vegetable market popularly known as Chitima caught fire on the 24th of June 2023 and destroyed groceries worth thousands of dollars.
The incident left many people in Masvingo shocked as more than 50 groceries market stalls were burnt to ashes.
The fire brigade services failed to extinguish the fire as its magnitude was very high by the time they arrived.
Speaking to the ZCIEA News crew, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations President for Masvingo territory Davidzo Muhwandavaka said this incident has brought so much pain and loss for the victims and Masvingo community.
“This incident has brought so much pain not only to the victims but to the Masvingo community at large, It’s a shocker to everyone and there is so much loss incurred by the vendors whose goods were burnt to ashes yesterday,” said Muhwandavaka.
She also urged the local authority and other responsible authorities to have awareness or training on occupational health safety for the vendors to curb this mishap in the future.
“I think the informal traders in Masvingo and the whole nation at large need to be trained or to raise awareness on safety at the workplace to avoid these disheartening incidences which cause so much loss to the people”, said Muhwandavaka.
Another vendor who refused to be named noted that a large percentage of the victims were women and two ladies collapsed upon hearing the news and are hospitalised at Masvingo General Hospital.
The informal economy has grown vastly in Zimbabwe and more than 90% of people rally behind the informal economy for a living. These incidents must be avoided at all costs in the future.
The source of the fire is believed to have originated from the Mbaura, which was left on by someone.