Sunday 29 October 2023


A new management committee has been appointed to restore order and sanity at the Glen View Area 8 furniture complex, which was being run by gangs who claimed links with some political parties.

The thugs collected fees from the carpenters and traders which they squandered without developing the complex.

Chairperson of the recently appointed management committee Tawanda Utete said they were appointed on 5 September and commenced work on 23 September after all the formalities were completed, including introductions to the local leadership and the carpenters.

He said they had hit the ground running to restore order in the complex, starting with measures to prevent and reduce the effects of fire in the event that it breaks out.

Other measures include maintaining the roads so that they act as fire guards, removing vendors who cooked food inside the complex, as well as banning smoking everywhere except at designated areas.

“We have got some boreholes that we are working on to pump water into tanks that we are installing as reservoirs. When we face some challenges regarding fire, it will be easy to put out the fire because we will have water reservoirs within the complex,” he said.

Utete said they had prioritised the refurbishment of the toilets which were damaged by the last fire which razed the complex. They have also engaged some security personnel to patrol the perimeter.

He said they were also erecting a wall around the complex to prevent trespassers, some of who are suspected of starting previous fires.

“We have started collecting a monthly subscription fee of $30 per person from the 483 carpenters to be used to develop the infrastructure in the complex. We are also erecting a perimeter fence around the complex to prevent trespassers, some of who have been suspected of causing previous fires,” he said.

The committee also nominated some members to undergo training in firefighting with the Harare Fire Brigade.

Utete said they had been assigned to make sure the complex gets a facelift to make it a business entity run along professional lines.

Utete said insurance companies are hesitant to offer carpenters at the Glen View Area 8 furniture complex policies to cover their products since the place was not properly secured and it was too risky to do so.

“On the issue of insurance companies, insurers need certain things to be put right first. They expect us to have proper structures, well defined structures, after we put those things in place, yes, they are ready to engage us. But for now, as things stand, they are not ready to take the risk because they are saying your businesses are not that formal,” he said.

He said his committee would be working with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, the City of Harare and the local leadership to restore sanity at the complex.

The biggest home industry in the country, the furniture complex is prone to disastrous fires and has been razed down more than seven times in the past eight years with the causes of the infernos remaining a mystery.— New Ziana


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