Rusape coun­cil sued for gut­ted prop­erty

The Manica Post - - Local News - Love­more Kadzura Rusape Cor­re­spon­dent

A RUSAPE busi­ness­man whose en­ter­tain­ment joint was re­cently razed by fire is de­mand­ing $390 000 from Rusape Town Coun­cil as com­pen­sa­tion for in­curred loss.

Mr Rex Ne­madziwa, who runs Harupwi River Lodges, pop­u­larly known as Bon­jour on the shores of Rusape River is ac­cus­ing coun­cil for neg­li­gence af­ter it fire crew arrived an hour late af­ter be­ing alerted of the fire at his premises. By then the thatched build­ing’s roof had curved in.

In a let­ter ad­dressed to Rusape town sec­re­tary Mr Solomon Gabaza, Mr Ne­madziwa’s lawyer Mr Tendai Bvuma, of Bvuma and As­so­ciates also mak­ing sen­sa­tional al­le­ga­tions that coun­cil’s fire crew team de­manded $1 500 dol­lars up­front to fill the en­gine with wa­ter and douse the fire.

Mr Bvuma also al­leged that cash amount­ing to US$16 000 cash was in­cin­er­ated in the in­ferno.

“We act on be­half of Mr Rex Ne­madziwa, the di­rec­tor of Harupwi River Lodges, Stand No 7566 Croc­o­dile Town­ship, Rusape. As you are aware the im­pos­ing struc­ture was gut­ted down by fire on April 27, 2018.

“It has been placed to us that at 10:30pm on the fate­ful day, our client was alerted about the fire that was burn­ing the roof of his prop­erty and he drove to Rusape Town Coun­cil at about 10:35pm. Upon ar­rival, he was in­formed the fire ten­der he was seek­ing could not be availed to him as it had no wa­ter and that the driver was also not there.

“It has also been brought to our at­ten­tion the fire ten­der un­help­fully arrived at our client’s place close to an hour later and the driver asked our client to pay $1500 up­front so that the fire fighter would be filled with wa­ter for the ex­tin­guish­ing of the fire to be done.

“Our client du­ti­fully and re­li­giously pays fire levy to your good of­fices. He af­firms the con­duct of the fire depart­ment on the night in ques­tion amounted to hy­per-neg­li­gence, un­prece­dented ab­di­ca­tion of duty and de­fined the ser­vice in new terms as one which was not de­signed for emer­gency pur­poses but one which now ex­isted for the un­for­tu­nate pur­pose of dis­play and as a shell of its real self.

“Be­cause of the neg­li­gent per­for­mance of duty by your fire depart­ment, our client lost his build­ing worth $200 000, stock, fur­ni­ture, elec­tri­cal ware, tele­vi­sions, re­frig­er­a­tors and many other items worth $180 000 as well as the green back cur­rency to­talling $16 000.

“The to­tal value of prej­u­dice ex­clud­ing loss of fu­ture earn­ings, there­fore, stands at $396 000.

“By copy of this let­ter, we are in­structed to de­mand as we hereby do that you pay the said $396 000 dam­ages in­curred by our client to our good of­fices stated above within seven days or in lieu of full pay­ment, bring along your pay­ment plan within the set pe­riod, fail­ure of which we are in­structed to in­sti­tute sum­mons against your good of­fices, the ex­tra costs to be oc­ca­sioned thereby be­ing for your ac­count,” reads the claim.

Efforts to get a com­ment from Mr Gabaza were fruit­less as he was said to be out of town at the time of go­ing to print.

How­ever, sources at civic cen­tre who re­quested not to be named cit­ing pro­to­col said coun­cil re­ferred the mat­ter to its lawyer Mr Maxwell Chi­wanza, of Chi­wanza and Part­ners Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers.

Mr Chi­wanza was also not read­ily avail­able for a com­ment.

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