MPOPOMA, BULAWAYO – A devastating fire broke out at the Mpopoma Outspan Association-operated informal traders complex, known as “Esimprapekini,” along Nketa Drive in Mpopoma on Wednesday morning. The inferno destroyed property worth thousands of dollars, leaving over 300 informal traders counting their losses.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire started at around 6am and quickly spread, despite efforts by locals to put it out. The Bulawayo Fire Brigade arrived shortly after and managed to extinguish the blaze, but not before much of the property had been destroyed.
Traders at the complex, who were registered under the Mpopoma Outspan Association, lost machinery, furniture, chickens, clothing materials and other possessions in the fire. One trader suffered a deep cut on his head while sifting through the ashes. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
“I have been a tailor who specializes in upholstery. I have been a tailor for close to 15 years and I have been working here for seven years. I was informed by my neighbors that our workplace was on fire, and when I got here, I found everything burnt down in my shop,” said Mr. Edward Maruziva, one of the affected traders.
The Mpopoma Outspan Association and local authorities are providing assistance to the affected traders and urging anyone with information about the fire to come forward. The community is rallying to support the affected traders and help them recover from their losses.