Bulawayo City Council


Fire Mutize At Flea Market


A fire broke out at the Mutize Flea Market at No. 97 Lobengula Street just after midnight on 30 August 2023, and was successfully attended to by the City of Bulawayo Fire Brigade. There were no injuries or fatalities.

The estoimated value of the property was ZWL 100 000 000.00, mostly flea market goods and contents including clothing, groceries, detergents, gas cylinders, stoves and other items that could not be identified due to the severity of the fire damage Property with an estimated value of ZWL 80 000 000.00 was lost in the fire, while goods with an estimated value of ZWL 20 000 000.00 were saved. the flea market was constructed of brick and iron bars under zinc approximately 60 meters by 50 meters with assortment of goods and had several backyard rooms used as stalls, kitchen and dining room.

The fire was discovered by a cross boreder transporter who was from Messina and delivering goods to the flea market. He did not have fire brigade numbers therefore he contacted someone else who then called the Fire Brigade. the call was received at 0027hrs and the first respondents from the Fire Brigade arrived on the scene at 0033hrs. the Fire Brigade responded with 3 fire tenders, a water carrier and a bowser.

On arrival the Brigade found the flea market alight with fire spreading in all directions. it is suspected that the fire was caused by an eletric gadget that was left on or unattended

The City of Bulawayo advises of the following disaster and risk strategies against fires in flea market:

  1. Re-designing and modernizing the flea market.
  2. Educating the shop owners and market managers on fire safety and the need for firefighting equipment in their stalls.
  3. Avoid illegal connection of electricity.
  4. Flea markets should be regularized and have a protection wall.
  5. Regular risks assessments, proper storage of flammable materials to be conducted.
  6. Emergency evacuation plans.
  7. Improve storage practises: Avoid poor storage practices such as overcrowding, storing flammable materials near heat sources, and blocking equipment.
  8. Every flea market to have firefighting equipment.

The City of Bulawayo encourages collaboration between market management, vendors, and local fire brigade for effective fire safety management in markets and discourages cigarette smoking and the improper disposal of cigarette butts in markets.

Residents are encouraged to phone the fire brigade immediately when there is a fire outbreak on the following numbers- 0292271717-9(on all networks) or 993/994 (TelOne Numbers only).

The City is appealing to the residents, corporates and development partners to assist in restoring the livelihoods of the people who were affected by this unfortunate incident.

DATE :Thursday, 31 August 2023


  • Call Centre Contacts:
  • (09) 71290 - All Networks
  • callcentre@citybyo.co.zw
  • Fire and Ambulance:
  • 993, 994 , (09) 71717
  • 08080081 - Econ toll free