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Council denies liability for thunderstorm deaths

THE Harare City Council has denied liability for the deaths of people and destruction of cars when trees fell on cars during thunderstorms.

Two people were killed in Mbare when a commuter omnibus they were in was hit by an old tree while destructive incidents were reported in the Central Business District (CBD), Rhodesville, Eastlea as well as surrounding suburbs.

Councils are responsible for maintaining their immediate environs.

Harare City Council Principal Communications Officer Innocent Ruwende yesterday described the destructions as a natural disaster.

“What we can only do is to urge members of the public to desist from parking under the trees during the rainy season because these are adverse weather conditions.

“It’s just like what happened in Chipinge, tongobatsirana senyika because these are natural disasters,” he said.

Asked whether Council will consider compensating the victims, he said:

“Nothing much we can do. We are in the process of cutting down all old trees and those which need pruning.

“The rains have loosened the ground and the trees are falling.

“Note that it is not only the old trees that are falling.

“We have done much of the work on our drainage system and we urge residents to complement our efforts through proper waste disposal.”

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