BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has crafted new fire by-laws which will regulate the use of fireworks as well as the discarding of gas cylinders in the city.
The council’s intention was revealed by the city’s legal officer, Spekiwa Mugiya while responding to ward 29 councillor, Alderman Monica Lubimbi’s concern over scattered gas cylinders in the city that are posing a great danger to residents during a recent council meeting.
During the same meeting, ward 14 councillor Macdonald Chunga also raised concern over the use of fireworks by residents in the city.
In response, the city legal officer said fire policies were in existence and had now been combined to form one document of by-laws.
“Fines had now been included for various offences. Gas was a new development and had since been included in the by-laws in order to protect residents from harmful gas exposure,” Mugiya said.
“It was a challenge to police gas dealers without proper by-laws. Organisations and individuals (now have to apply) for use of fireworks. Illegal use now attracts a
Council has adopted the proposed fire by-laws amendments.
During the full council meeting, ward 13 councillor Frank Jabangwe also raised concern over an increase in false ambulance calls, which he said were costing the cash-strapped local authority.
“This was creating a huge expense to council and moreover causing unavailability of vehicles to genuine ambulance requests. Councillors should advise residents on challenges caused by false reports,” Jabangwe said.
In the past, police have banned the use of firecrackers without clearance.
Police have said those wishing to launch fireworks and firecrackers, especially during News Year’s cross-over celebrations, should first notify neighbours and secure clearance.