A fire that destroyed cotton lint worth millions of dollars in Chipinge on Monday might have been started by disgruntled workers who were recently relieved of their duties, reported Chipinge Times.
The fire broke out at Agri Value Chain Company based in Checheche popularly known as Parrogate on Monday Monday, destroying the “white gold”.
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Chipinge South legislator, Enock Porusingasi, confirmed the fire incident during an interview with Chipinge Times, saying investigations to establish the cause of the fire were ongoing. He said:
The unfortunate incident happened around 3 am today. The fire started in the storage area where lint which is ready for dispatch is kept after being processed.
The companies whose cotton lint has been burnt include Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco), Southern Cotton, Consolidated Cotton of Zimbabwe, Shawasha Cotton.
These companies buy their cotton here in Chipinge and some in Chiredzi. They then bring the cotton for ginning at Parrogate.
He further said the fire was only controlled in the afternoon after interventions by Greenfuel Pvt Ltd which provided fire tenders.
Meanwhile, Chipinge Times quoted a source as having said that the fire might have been an act of arson by disgruntled former employees. Said a source:
I am told the company mistreated workers and some were dismissed without terminal benefits. These workers are suspected to have started the fire.
Some posters suspected to have been designed by workers demanding their dues were seen strewn near the company.
The Mirror said it could not get a comment from Agri Value Chain Ginnery manager, Rohit Verma as he continuously said he was busy.