So hectic were the corridors of the building as ministers, senior staff and ordinary members of staff jammed the corridors in an enduring physical exercise climbing down the stairs to safety.
No-one was hurt during the incident because the fire was immediately put out by Harare City Council Fire Brigade whose response was swift.
The electrical fault occurred in the 18th floor around mid-morning. Ironically the floor houses the offices of Education Minister David Coltart who is said to have been out of office when the fire broke
out. But his deputy, Lazarus Dokora was not as lucky as he had to endure the climb down using the stairs from his high rise office.
Dokora was said to have been forced to abandon the meeting when the fire broke out.
Staff from the ministry could be seen milling outside the building telling tales of how they escaped after the fire started.
“I was in the lift that jammed for some 15 minutes before we were rescued by people from the company that made the elevators,” an
unidentified man could be heard saying. “The smoke actually came into the lift.”
The lift was later fixed by EICCO, the company which installed and maintain lifts at the ministry’s offices.
The staff later refused to get back into the building after the fixed lifts malfunctioned again. government offices have malfunctioning elevators which are always
down. Maintenance at the government offices is sub-standard. Last year at the inception of the Government of National Unity (GNU) the
Minister of Environment and the Minister Health teamed up to lead a group of volunteers to clean government offices at Mukwati Building in