Harare’s dilapidated buildings are death traps, Mayor Mafume says as he apologizes for fatal collapse


HARARE – Mayor Jacob Mafume expressed his sorrow over a building collapse in Harare' Central Business District (CBD) that resulted in the death of Yolanda Hodzi from Norton, and injured six others. 

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume says we are sorry for building collapse
Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume 

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon in the city's CBD at the corner of Chinhoyi and Bank Streets.

"We are sorry for the tragedy," Mafume said in an interview with NewsDay. 

He described several buildings in the capital as death traps due to their dilapidated state, adding that they are facing closure.

"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," he said. 

"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."

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

Last week, Harare town clerk Hosiah Chisango issued a notice to all property owners and occupants of buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) and those outside of the CBD. 

The notice urged them to renew our regenerate their buildings either through repairs, refurbishments, and/or repainting.

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

He warned against allowing any building to become a danger to the health of persons occupying or using the building, or to the health of the public, or to become unsightly or a disfigurement to the neighborhood.

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