Health ministry office gutted by fire

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Limpho Sello

THE Ministry of Health’s finance office in Maseru was gutted by a fire in the early hours of yesterday. Police are still investigating the cause of the fire which destroyed documents kept in the office.

The fire also affected another office on the third floor of the building before being extinguished by the Lesotho Mounted Police’s (LMPS) Fire Brigade department.

This was the second such incident at the Ministry of Health building after the Information Technology offices were also gutted by fire last year.

The health ministry’s principal secretary Lefu Manyokole yesterday told the Lesotho Times that they were still to ascertain the loss caused by the fire. He said he suspected that some of the office staff forgot to switch off their heater the previous day.

Mr Manyokole said although the firefighters arrived in time to save the next office, all the documents in the finance office could not be salvaged. He however, said work would continue in the ministry because they have back-up documents in other offices.

“Although the office has been burnt down, work will continue since we have back up documents for all the financial books that were in the office,” Mr Manyokole said.

“We have back up everywhere including in our treasury. We also have back up in the computer systems through other offices of the financial controller.

“Yes, there was damage but it will not interfere with our work.”

He said they would await a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said they were investigating the cause of the fire. He also said they were monitoring the office to ensure that other fires do not breakout.

He said a full report would be issued once investigations were completed.

 

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