AUTHORITIES at Mutare City Council (MCC) have procured and taken delivery of some fire tenders to enhance the local authority’s emergency response capabilities following a complaint filed against it by an aggrieved resident over poor service delivery.
In August 2023, Ephraim Matanda, a resident of Mutare, engaged the services of Peggy Tavagadza and Tatenda Sigauke of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who wrote a letter of complaint to the Town Clerk at MCC, raising concern and protesting about the local authority’s capacity to provide fire-fighting services through its fire-brigade department.
Tavagadza and Sigauke stated that Matanda was miffed by the lack of capacity and the laxness of MCC to provide service to residents and ratepayers, who need the local authority’s critical services.
The human rights lawyers cited various incidents of fire outbreaks in the eastern border city, which had resulted in catastrophic loss of life and damage to the property of residents.
The incidents, Tavagadza and Sigauke charged, had left Matanda in distress hence he wanted MCC to provide him with information regarding the measures which the local authority was taking and implementing to improve and ensure efficient service delivery in mitigating the dangers and risks of fire outbreaks and accidents.
In response to Matanda’s letter, officials at MCC’s Fire Department recently invited Matanda and his lawyers, Tavagadza and Sigauke, to visit their workshop, where they were advised about the acquisition of new fire-fighting equipment and taken through a familiarisation tour of the fire tenders, which should bolster the local authority to effectively respond to fire outbreaks and rescue people in Mutare.
The MCC officials revealed that they had decentralised the provision of fire and emergency services by deploying one truck at the local authority’s sub stations to service Dangamvura high-density suburb and dedicated another one for Chikanga high-density suburb to improve efficiency in its response time to fire and emergency related services.
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