Fire guts Lusaka’s largest market
LUSAKA. – Fire swept through Lusaka City, Zambia Market yesterday destroying property worth millions of kwacha in what police suspect to be an act of sabotage.
Macdonald Nyirenda, a youth chairperson in charge of security at the city market, claimed that the inferno started around 5am after police opened the market to allow council workers to sweep.
The fire brigade only managed to put out the fire around 9am. According to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) news crew, they found the market engulfed as shop owners cried helplessly watching as their property burnt to ashes. Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe who rushed to the scene described the incident as sabotage.
Sikazwe wondered why people behind the act were punishing innocent citizens by destroying public property. He appealed to citizens to work with the Zambia Police Service to bring the culprits to book.
Lusaka provincial Minister Japhen Mwakalombe said burning of public property is barbaric. Mwakalombe said people’s lives have been destroyed as those affected by the fire depend on businesses they own in the market.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has said that the law will catch up with lawbreakers and those engaging in acts bordering on economic sabotage.
President Lungu called on Zambians to remain patient as they await a full report by security services. He said that if the fire is an act of arson, then those destroying public property are enemies of the people.
Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before departure for Lusaka, President Lungu said for now, security services have told him that it is too early to reach any conclusions.
President Lungu said he will wait to hear from security wings on arrival back home. He said the people must remain calm and ensure no retaliatory action is taken to worsen the situation. (Source: The Herald)