By Gift Kurupati & Margret Chogugudza – Chitownews citizen reporter.
Zengeza 3– Batanai grocery shop at Zengeza 3 Shopping centre was reduced to ashes on Friday evening after a mysterious fire gutted goods and appliances worth thousands of dollars. Eye witnesses claimed the fire started around 10:30 pm and the cause of the fire remains unknown.
The owner of the shop Edmore Muchanyu suspected a foul play. He suspects that someone must have started the fire from outside the shop. “I suspect that my enemies have done this to destroy my business”, he said.
When Chitownews reporters visited Batanai shop located at Zengeza 3 shopping centre on Saturday morning, it was a sorry sight as the owner of the shop was nearly in tears and still trying to come to terms with what had happened. The shop was still smoldering and the Chitungwiza fire brigade was nowhere to be seen. A few sympathetic local residents were still trying to extinguish the fire.
A vendor who used to leave his wares inside the shop for overnight safekeeping- Maud Mangena- lost everything in the fire.
“There was no electricity that night and I suspect that the caretaker of the shop fell asleep whilst the candle was still on and the candle later caused the fire” , said Mangena.
Brighton Muchefa, another vendor said, “I feel so lost and I do not know what to do. My life depended on my wares and now they are gone, I do not have a means of survival anymore”.
Another vendor Mai Elsie who used to leave her stuffs inside the shop said the fire destroyed her source of livelihood.
“I do not know where to start now because I had spent all my money buying the stuff and now they are burnt. I lost almost 60 pairs of shoes which I hoped to sell for my survival and that of my children”.
In an interview with Chitownews, an eyewitness Mr. Jonas said; “I do not think the fire started from outside but I suspect that the caretaker left a mosquito coil or candle burning which later caused the fire”.