By Correspondent

Former Matapi Block 5 residents, who were victims of a fire outbreak in the flat have now clocked five years living a former Council bar.

The 14 families said they occupied the Rufaro Marketing buildings as a temporary measure after their second floor flats were razed down by a fire.

The fire on their Matapi Flats Block 2 Southern Wing 2nd floor was reportedly caused by a candle that was left unattended.

However, since then nothing has been done to return them to their places of residents and they have had to do with the hazardous conditions.

The residents have since petitioned Parliament of Zimbabwe to intervene and recommend Harare Council to prioritise the acquisition of decent shelter for them.

“The petition is calling Parliament to recommend City of Harare and Government to prioritise the victims on provision of decent accommodation.

“Also the victims are calling on the City of Harare to explain before Parliament measures that have been taken to provide them with alternative decent housing,” a report by Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) says.

Currently they use a single toilet in the bar which they also share with members of the public.

In the aftermath of the fire the Mbare residents had been promised am entire infrastructure upgrade and modernisation by Vice President Chiwenga.

Addressing a campaign rally in 2018 Chiwenga said those who had relocated to affluent suburbs such as Borrowdale would return to Mbare.

VP Chiwenga promising swimming pools to Mbare residents in 2018

“We have a comprehensive master plan for the home industries and the Mbare hostels to the extent that wherever we reconstruct a block of flats, there will be a swimming pool for children and kindergartens.

“Mbare will be the first place that we are going to develop in Harare, and those that had relocated to Borrowdale and Mount Pleasant will come back to Mbare,” he said.

However, there has been no upgrading of the flats since then as they remain dilapidated and dangerous for habitation.

According to CHRA, “the situation has exposed women and children to abuse from drug dealers and drunkards who will be loitering around the area.

CHRA has since called for a humanitarian intervention on the victims of the inferno and urged government and Council to find alternative shelter for the fire victims.

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