Harare buildings are death traps: Mafume

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume


HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday said several buildings in the capital were death traps and facing closure because of dilapidation.

Mafume made the remarks after visiting a building that collapsed in the capital on Saturday afternoon, killing Yolanda Hodzi of Norton and injuring six. The building crumbled in Harare’s central business district at corner Chinhoyi and Bank Streets.

The cause of the collapse is still unknown with investigations underway. In an interview with NewsDay, Mafume apologised for the tragedy.

“We are sorry for the tragedy,” he said. “I am very sad about what happened. It is very unfortunate, we had issued a notice just a few weeks ago about the state of buildings in the capital.

“We will inspect them with a view to close those that do not meet standards and give a timeline to revamp the buildings so that in

future we do not record such tragedies.”

Last week, Harare town clerk Hosiah Chisango issued an ultimatum to owners of dilapidated

buildings. “The City of Harare is hereby giving notice to all property owners and occupants of buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) and those outside of the CBD, to renew or regenerate their buildings and/or properties either through repairs, refurbishments and/or repainting,” the

notice read. Chisango cited model building by-laws on the status of buildings and their occupation.

“No person shall allow any building constructed upon premises of which he is the owner or occupier to become (a) a danger to the health of persons occupying or using the building, or to the health of the

public or (b) the source of unpleasant fumes, smoke or odours, or (c) unsightly or a disfigurement to the neighbourhood, or (d) in any other way offensive or embarrassing to the people living or working upon the premises or in the neighbourhood,” he said.


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