Fire has swept through the temporal Kapalala market in Ndola’s Masala township.
The fire that started around 19:00 hours yesterday has also gutted the Masala cultural village, and property belonging to the Ministry of Tourism.
Hundreds of marketers who were taken to the temporal market shelter after the old Kapalala market was gutted in 2017, have had their livelihoods affected for the second time, in a period of five years.
Copperbelt Province Minister, Elisha Matambo has described the development as unfortunate and regrettable.
Mr. Matambo who inspected the gutted market said the government sympathizes with the marketers, saying the government will work in collaboration with the traders to see how best they can be helped.
“We understand the pain they are going through. As a government we will walk side by side with them and I’m urging the police to do thorough investigations,” Mr. Matambo said.
He said it is unfortunate that marketers have had their goods being destroyed in an inferno for the second time.
Mr. Matambo added that the government will stand with the affected marketers and has called for calm among them as investigations into the matter is instituted.
Mr. Matambo has urged the police to speed up investigations in the matter and establish the cause of the fire.
He said the government will not finger point but allow law enforcers to do their job.
The cause of the fire that destroyed merchandise worth millions of kwacha has not been established yet, although some marketers speculate it could have started from one of the braziers that was left unattended.
Hendrix Kasung’ami, the market caretaker said the fire started small from one of the depots and spread evenly to other parts, including the Masala cultural village.
Meanwhile, Gift Mwamba has called on the government to quickly investigate the matter and bring anyone involved to book.