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Property Owners, SMEs Urged To Insure Premises, Stocks Against Tragedies


BY JAMES MUONWA

MASHONALAND West Provincial Affairs minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka has exhorted property owners and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) operators to insure premises and merchandise against eventualities, such as fire disasters.

This Wednesday, Mliswa-Chikoka led a delegation of the district civil protection unit (CPU) to assess the extent of damage caused by fire that gutted Dombodzvuku complex a fortnight ago.

The fire is suspected to have been sparked by an electrical fault.

After inspecting the collapsed building situated in Chinhoyi's Gadzema suburb, the top government official appealed to property owners and SMEs to consider getting insurance cover for buildings and stocks.

Said Mliswa-Chikoka: "We want to encourage each other to take insurance for our businesses. Today, we realise the importance of having insurance. 

"We should all be insured, whether small business get insurance so that you guard against losses in times of eventualities."

The minister also appealed to property owners to upgrade buildings to incorporate smart technologies such as smoke detectors and ceiling water sprinklers to suppress fire outbreaks.

Dombodzvuku complex owner, Godfrey Beremauro told NewsAnchor the gutted building was not covered by insurance since 2008 following the collapse of the local currency.

"The building was nolonger insured, remember in 2008 when our dollar became worthless, we quit the insurance deal as it became unsustainable.

"Refurbishment is estimated to cost US$17 500 which we must self-fund, but as things stand, its a huge task," said Beremauro, who is Zanu PF central committee member and former Hurungwe Central lawmaker.

Affected entrepreneurs namely; Chiyamuro Pfidze, Violet Matemere and Jeffery Nyamunda, whose shops were razed to the ground, appealed for financial assistance to resuscitate their businesses. 

Cumulatively, the trio lost in excess of US$70 000 worth of equipment and stocks.

Nyamunda, who operated a butchery, said: "The equipment which was destroyed in the fire included a cold room, two display fridges, four deep freezers, one meat slicer, four butcher scales, all worth US$20 000. There were three carcasses and other meat products worth US$10 000.

"Also in the butchery were tractor spares, a starter motor and important documents. It was less than two months since l renovated the shop."

Pfidze who had just returned from a restocking trip in readiness for the upcoming festive season, lost merchandise valued at over $22 000, including groceries, and six fridges.

Matemere lost $18 000 worth of stock, which went up in smoke in the mishap.




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