Concerns as hundreds of firefighters leave country for greener pastures

BULAWAYO – Zimbabwean fire fighters continue to desert the country for greener pastures abroad, with two major cities, Harare and Bulawayo recording high numbers of resignations.

Presenting his 2022 End-of-Year message recently, Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said the resignations were affecting performance within the city’s fire department.

“The period under review saw a massive departure of experienced firemen for greener pastures. Eleven resignations were recorded, making it a resignation every month,” Mguni said.

“Besides robbing the function of experienced personnel, this is a big dent in the brigade’s service as such departures leave a gap in the mentoring of the newly qualified firemen and women.”

Harare Chief Fire Officer, Lovemore Mafukidze said Zimbabwean firemen were the most sought after especially in the Arab world.

“Harare has lost more firefighters than any local authority in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean firefighters are very much sought after by countries in the Middle East namely the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to mention a few,” he said.

In 2021, Harare lost 125 fighters.

Pushed away by poor remuneration and unconducive working environments, firefighters are however not the only professionals leaving the country.

Doctors, nurses, teachers, and other professionals are also leaving for neighbouring countries and those overseas in search of the most stable and lucrative jobs.

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