30 000 villagers stranded as clinic burns

Top Stories Zimbabwe

Lloyd Ndemo

Over 30 000 villagers in Gokwe, a district in Zimbabwe’s Midlands province, are stranded after a local clinic was destroyed by fire on Wednesday.

A gas leak is suspected to have triggered the inferno which consumed drugs, medical equipment and property worth thousands of dollars.

No one was injured.

Sai Clinic serviced thousands of villagers in the district, but the destruction means walking over 100km to the next health facility.

Preferring anonymity, a staff member at Sai Clinic said: “We are all in the dark because the fire started in the room that had a gas refrigerator. So, probably the gas was leaking.”

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said, “Police are investigating a fire incident which occurred at Sai Clinic on 28 October.

“It is said the fire broke out in the dispensary and spread to other rooms, destroying various properties including drugs.  No one was injured and the cause of the fire is yet to be established.”

Gokwe Civil Protection Unit head Mrs Netsai Mushauri said they are assessing the extent of damage.

“We have dispatched a team to (ascertain) what really happened. We are also making efforts to engage our stakeholders if they can also assist,” she said.