International fire forensic experts from South Africa arrived in Malawi on Monday, October 8 2018 to investigate the cause of fire that gutted the top floor of NICO House at the conner of Stewart Street and Haile Sellasie Avenue in Blantyre Central Business District on Friday, October 5.
NICO Holdings Group Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda, addressing a news conference at their office in Chibisa House in Blantyre, said a disaster and business continuity plan is still in motion and assures their clients of continued service as investigations are underway.
He said the fire forensic experts are the ones they have angaged before in various incidents and since this incident has an element of insurance claim, there was need to have independent investigators.
Kumwenda assured their clients that all the data and information that was destroyed has been recovered because they had a disaster recovery site in Lilongwe and meanwhile, the services of NICO General, NICO Life and NICO Pensions – whose offices were on the gutted top floor of the building – have been relocated to the 4th floor of Umoyo House along Victoria Avenue.
“NICO Holdings would like to extend special appreciation to members of staff, clients, the Blantyre City Fire Brigade, the Malawi Police Service and the general public for the assistance and moral support given to the company throughout the incident on Friday and thereafter,” Kumwenda said.
He said the fire was detected way after it had gone out of control since it originated from a storage room that is rarely occupied.
“We usually have first steps to take in terms of a fire which the staff bravely undertook but they could not contain the fire that was now raging and for personal safety, they had to evacuate the building since the Fire Brigade had already been notified and was on its way.
“The Fire Brigade did their professional part to distinguish the fire so that it should not affect the floors below and they left everything intact for the international forensic experts to work on in their investigations.
“After the investigations, we will immediate release its results to the public and the next course of action to be taken, ” Kumwenda said.
To add credence to the gravity of the situation, Kumwenda was accompanied by his top management officers such as NICO General Chief Executive Officer Donbell Mandala; NICO Life Chief Executive Officer Eric Chapola; NICO Pensions General Manager Lilian Moyo, Group Company Secretary Emily Kakuta and several others.
Chapola said the building belongs to NICO Life but insured by NICO General.
Other subsidiaries of NICO Holdings are NICO Asset Managers, Eris Properties Malawi Limited, NICO Insurance Zambia, NICO Technologies and NBS Bank.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :