Ministerial Committee on market fires has attributed the increase in fire incidents that continue to torch down marketplaces across the country to weak punishment and negligence by the city and district councils.
The Committee’s chairperson and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Tarsizio Gowero however said they were still working on establishing what really caused recent market fires in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
The committee has missed its deadline to submit its findings to President Peter Mutharika on the main causes of the fire and recommendations on what measures to be taken to prevent future incidents.
“We have not yet come to conclusion of our investigations and this is why our friends from Malawi police are helping us to establish the truth,” said Gowero.
Gowero said councils should bear a blame for failing to institute right and preventative measures in marketplaces that could help to address fire incidences, and that those found guilty were not being
heavily punished by the law.
“Such incidents have affected us. We have plans to construct new markets across the country, but it’s like when we take a step forward, we are pushed another step backwards. We need to collectively address this problem,” he added.
About nine markets have been hit by fire since 2004. A recent fire at Tsoka market in Lilongwe affected over 1,000 vendors who lost K961million worth of merchandise in the process.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :