Massive losses as fire guts Zambia market
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Massive losses as fire guts Zambia market

Posted MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka

on  Wednesday, August 30   2017 at  12:37

Hundreds of traders are counting their losses after a market was burnt to the ground in Ndola, Zambia's second largest city.

The tragedy on Tuesday started past midnight when traders had closed their operations.

Merchandise worth millions of Kwacha have been burnt to ashes at Kapalala Market in Ndola after fire swept through the market, destroying over 3,000 stands," reported state radio.

"....marketers were found wailing and watching helplessly as their goods went up in flames," it said.

The inferno

Fire fighters had a rough time fighting the inferno, due to restricted accessibility.

Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Local media quoted one of the trader, Ms Cecilia Chitafu, who recounted that all her merchandise had been burnt to ashes.

About 6,000 people were estimated to be doing business at the market at its peak,

Supply lines

Ndola is located in the Copperbelt Province, north of Lusaka.

In July, the country's largest market, Soweto, was partially gutted, an incident that prompted President Edgar Lungu to invoke the emergency powers to deal with "acts of sabotage".

The relatively calm southern African state experienced "rising cases of politically motivated fires and vandalism of vital electricity supply lines", which government alleged was being perpetrated by the opposition.