Mnangagwa Calls for Fire Management Strategy After 10 Die in Veld Fire

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday heightened the need to develop a national veld fire management strategy after 10 farm workers were burnt to death on Monday in a veld fire in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province.

“A new national strategy is now needed to minimise this growing menace whose risk increased by the day until we get our first rains for the summer season,” Mnangagwa said in a condolence message.

He said both the ministry in charge of the environment and the Civil Protection Department must urgently develop a comprehensive response to veld fires.

A total of 15 people who had been called in to fight the fire got trapped as strong winds blew the fire in their direction, resulting in 10 deaths. Local media reported that four others suffered burns of varying degrees while one escaped unhurt.

Temperatures have been soaring around Zimbabwe with regular fire warnings by Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Meteorological Services Department.

Zimbabwe is at the peak of its fire season, and authorities advise people against starting veld fires.