Cash trapped Mzuzu City Council is now relying on the good will of donors to immediately help in the reconstruction of the burnt Mzuzu Central market.
“This is a far much worse disaster we have encountered so far,” the Council’s Director of Administration Victor Masina said.
A mysterious fire razed the market on Sunday, one of the city’s cash cow, which was raking in more than MK200,000 per day in revenue to the Council’s coffers, destroying goods worth millions of Malawi kwachas.
The exact cause of the inferno is not known but speculation point to saboteurs with political influence. Nyasa Times could not independently verify this allegation beyond unsubstantiated press reports.
In April this year, the also market suffered a similar tragedy turning goods worth MK110 million to ashes.
The city council then had planned to construct shops made of bricks and other fire-resistant materials but ruling Peoples Party politicians stalled the Council’s plans by asking the vendors to reconstruct their stalls on their own.
However, the Council is now looking for MK300 million to reconstruct a modern market with brick structures.
Malawi’s markets are prone to fire because many of the stall are made using timber, cardboard boxes, plastics, grass thatch and mats.
“We are going to send the assessment report to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. We do not have readily available donors but we hope government will find some for this project,” Masina said.