The United Party for National Development wishes to express its sympathy to the traders whose property has been destroyed by the fire. It is sad and regrettable that COMESA market where traders sold assorted commodities and earned their livelihood was ravaged by a fire whose source is still not known.
It is sad that within a year multiple fire incidents have ravaged City Market,Buteko market in Mufulira, and COMESA market without government giving a concrete forensic report on the cause of fires.
What is even sad is that many traders contract unsecured loans to buy their commodities.
We are also aware that COMESA market also houses foreign traders that bring in their goods to sell in Zambia,making it even more unfortunate as the fire incidences have the potential to scare away foreign traders.
In view of the current situation those in Government should now stop politicking,let them take responsibility and investigate the trend of fire incidences in the country.
“Abena Zambia balefwaya ukwishiba eko umulilo ulefuma” (Zambians need to know the cause of these fires).
As UPND ,we challenge the Patriotic Front government to tell the nation who burnt City Market as this could be related to other fire incidents that have egulfed other markets.
No solution will be found to prevent the fires if the cause is not known.
It is also not just about loss of property but also the effect of the fires on the lives of the victims.
Traders whose property has been destroyed should be taken into consideration and be compensated immediately.
It is also regrettable that Police Commissioner Kakoma Kanganja, despite promising to investigate and arrest the culprits , has to date not told the nation on the cause of the fire and this makes us wonder how he will deal with the rest of the fires .
We challenge Kanganja to tell the nation the cause of these fires or he resigns with immediate effect.
The effects of these fire outbreaks, are devastating. It is shocking that nothing has been done to prevent these fires as these incidents continue to increase.
Meanwhile, we wish to call upon Zambian traders to start subscribing to insurance companies that cover businesses and properties in an event of a fire outbreak.
Organisations such as Fire Brigade should carry out risk assessment of premises and sensitise traders on fire evacuation plans and other procedures in case of a fire.
We also want to use this opportunity to the advise the PF that see any green bare space as a vacant plot that such places are left deliberately fore engines and ambulances to access such sites in times of such incidences.
As UPND we shall ensure that Local Government effectively plays its role by inspecting premises and ensuring that public places adopt more fire safety measures.
These include proper handling of combustible and flammable material and safe housekeeping practices that reduce the risk of fire outbreak.
Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (Dr )
UPND Vice President