Source: Fire at new Central Registry Building | The Herald 26 MAR, 2019
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Fire broke out early yesterday morning at the new Central Registry Building in central Harare, in what authorities suspected to be an arson attempt by criminal elements.
It took swift action by guards of a firm providing security services at the building to put out the fire that burnt some copper cables on the balcony of the third floor.
The cables that were burnt were being used to fix the building.
By the time the fire brigade and police rushed to the scene, security guards had extinguished it using a fire hose.
“At around 0030hrs of 25 March 2019, a security guard patrolling the building observed that a fire was coming around the balcony of third floor of the Central Registry,” read a report compiled by the security firm.
“The security guard went up to investigate and noted that the fire was coming from the copper cables that were on a metal bin.”
The report said the fire brigade responded swiftly, but by the time they arrived the security guard had contained the fire.
“There was no damage either to the building or property. The matter is still under investigation to determine the cause,” reads the report.
The Registrar-General, Mr Clement Masango, confirmed the incident but said he suspected foul play.
“We are still waiting to hear the outcome of police investigations and we will be guided accordingly,” he said.
“But from the circumstances in which it happened, we could not rule out foul play and we are obviously concerned.
“If ever the fire was caused by somebody, it would have been an inside job, done by a person with knowledge of the building.
“We still have some areas of the building that are not secured since technicians are still working on the building and it is on that basis that one cannot rule out foul play by some criminal elements. But we will be guided by police investigations.”
Mr Masango said it was unusual for copper cables to be left on the balcony as technicians would ordinarily secure them in a safe place.
“It is these kind of questions that make us wonder and be puzzled,” said Mr Masango.