By Blessings Kaunda and Walughano Lumbira
A section of Vigwagwa Market in Mzuzu was on Thursday night destroyed by fire and Mzuzu City Council officials and business people who ply their businesses at the market have not yet established the cause of the fire.
Chief Executive Officer for Mzuzu City Council (MCC) Gomezgani Nyasulu who alongside with Mayor for MCC, Gift Nyirenda visited the market to appreciate the magnitude of the damage.
Nyasulu said MCC is equally affected as the business people by the incident.
According to Nyasulu, the section of the market which has been gutted down has no electricity nor cooking spaces for restaurants, things that one could suspect to be the cause of the fire.
“Am informed that said some people chased fire fighters from Mzuzu Airport who came to erase the fire and secure the merchandize,” said Nyasulu while conceding that the fire engine for MCC was faulty and could not make it to the scene.
He then advised members of the market committee to establish the cause of the fire to avoid similar incidents in future.
Secretary for Vigwagwa Market Committee, Philemon Mphande said he was notified of the fire at around 11 pm and pledged that efforts are being done to establish the possible cause of the fire.
“Fire fighters from Mzuzu Airport only arrived at the scene at 2 am after MCC ‘s fire team had failed to make it, several hours after being informed of the accident, “said Mphande.
One of the business people at the market, Eliza Chaula said her rice worthy K3 million and irish potatoes have been burnt into ashes.
“I have two benches, one for rice and another one for irish potatoes but as I am speaking I have been left with nothing,” said Chaula.
Another business operator who appeared to be deeply shocked, Simeon Phiri, a rice seller said he has lost rice of worth K3.5 million to the fire.
Almost 60 benches have been gutted down by fire and MCC is yet to established cost of the damage.