30 families left homeless after fire engulfs Matapi Flats in Mbare

Up in smoke … 30 families were left homeless after a fire destroyed a block of flats in Mbare on June 30, 2021

HARARE – Thirty families were left homeless in the winter cold on Wednesday after a fire raged through a block of flats in the poor neighbourhood of Mbare in Harare.

Matapi Flats are some of the oldest buildings in Mbare.

The fire broke out around 4PM and quickly spread through Block C before firefighters got to the scene. No-one was injured after people quickly evacuated.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation by Harare’s fire department.

Local MP Starman Chamisa said: “We’re with the people and we’ll try to help them in whatever way we can.”

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While campaigning in July 2018, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga pledged that the Zanu PF government would refurbish the Matapi Flats and add first class recreational facilities including swimming pools.

“Mbare will be the first place that we’re going to develop in Harare, and those that had relocated to Borrowdale and Mount Pleasant will come back to Mbare,” Chiwenga vowed.

The pledges have not yet been met, although some of the flats got a paint job in 2019 through a collaboration between the City of Harare and the local government ministry.