Minister of local government Kondwani Nankhumwa has sternly warned government would prosecute any market arsonist.
The warning follows a series of market fires in the country, the recent in Mzuzu where the market was gutted down a few days ago.
In an interview, Nankhumwa said some of the market fires are suspicious and suggested may have been deliberately started by arsonists whose motive the government is yet to establish .
“We will be investigating these fires and culprits would be prosecuted,” said Nankhumwa who has himself been visiting some of the gutted markets which also include the Area 18 market in Lilongwe.
Some people believe the fires are deliberately started by opportunists seeking government ‘compensation’ to prop up their dwindling businesses.
Government has been giving out huge sums of money to traders whose merchandise have burnt to ashes in such fires.
But Nankhumwa said it is high time such fires are investigated and arsonists prosecuted before the ‘compensation’ issue is tabled to avoid a repeat in future.
Some fires are accidently started by Escom electricity power and in such circumstances, the power house takes responsibility of compensation.
The government already paid out millions of kwachas when Mzimba market was aso gutted down by fire a few months ago.