The Scene at Lusaka City Market
The Scene at Lusaka City Market

President Edgar Lungu has said that the law will catch up with lawbreakers and those engaging in acts bordering on economic sabotage.

The President has called on Zambians to remain patient as they await a full report by security services on the fire that has gutted city market.

President Lungu said that if the fire is an act of arson, then those destroying public property are enemies of the people.

Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before departure for Lusaka, the Head of State said for now security services have told him that it is too early to reach any conclusions.

President Lungu said he will wait to hear from security wings on arrival back home.

The President said that said the Nation must remain calm and ensure no retaliatory action is taken to worsen the situation.

The President said this in a statement availed to media news by his special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda.

Acting President Inonge Wina has warned that it is time to ACT against people that want to make Zambia ungovernable. Mrs. Wina said that government will no longer tolerate acts of sabotage, adding that there will be no mercy on the perpetrators of the acts, once arrested.

Mrs. Wina said that it is unfortunate that women and other Marketeers have been left vulnerable after the burning of their merchandise at City market.

The Acting President said that government is determined to ensure everyone is protected against all acts of sabotage.

Mrs. Wina who was visibly disappointed said Police are now on their heels to find and arrest the perpetrators.

Mrs. Wina was speaking shortly after touring City Market which has been gutted by fire. She warned that days are numbered for the perpetrators of acts of sabotage.

Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kamyongo has urged Zambians to be vigilant. Mr. Kampyongo said government is taking acts of sabotage seriously.

Early this morning Fire swept through Lusaka City Market destroying property worth millions of Kwachas in what police suspect to be an act of sabotage.

A check by a ZNBC news crew early Tuesday found the Market engulfed as shop owners cried helplessly watching their property burn to ashes.

The inferno is believed to have started around 05 hours this morning.The Lusaka City fire fighters were on ground trying to save the market.

Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe who rushed to the scene described the incident as sabotage.

Mr. SIKAZWE wondered why people behind the act were punishing innocent citizens by destroying public property.

He has appealed to citizens to work with the Zambia Police Service to bring the culprits to book.

And Lusaka province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe said burning of public property is barbaric. Mr. Mwakalombe said people’s lives have been destroyed as those affected by the fire depend on businesses they own in the market.

Meanwhile Inspector general of police Kakoma Kanganja said police are on ground and will bring to book those behind the suspected acts of sabotage.

And Macdonald Nyirenda a youth chairperson in charge of security at city market said the fire started around 05:00hrs in the morning after police opened the market to allow council workers to sweep.

The Scene at Lusaka City Market
The Scene at Lusaka City Market
A woman crying after losing her merchandise in the fire
A woman crying after losing her merchandise in the fire
A woman crying after losing her merchandise in the fire
A woman crying after losing her merchandise in the fire
The Scene at Lusaka City Market
The Scene at Lusaka City Market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
The Fire Fighters at the Scene of the blaze
The Fire Fighters at the Scene of the blaze
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
What aftermath of the fire at Lusaka City market
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72 COMMENTS

  1. “And Macdonald Nyirenda a youth chairperson in charge of security at city market said the fire started around 05:00hrs in the morning after police opened the market to allow council workers to sweep”- THIS COULD BE SUCH A COMPLICATED CASE TO GET AROUND SINCE THE FIRE STARTED AFTER SECURITY PERSONNEL OPENED THE MARKET!! However in all these, it points TO FAILURE IN SECURITY NATIONAL SECURITY and SAFETY MANAGEMENT! When a fire starts in one corner, HOW can it be allowed to engulf the whole big building before it is put out? So the ENTIRE AREA HAS NO FIRE HYDRANTS?? And then HOW MANY FIRES HAVE WE RECORDED and to date WE HAVE NEVER MANAGED TO BRING TO BOOK THE CULPRITS? WHERE IS THE ZAMBIA INTELLIGENCE SERVICES, POLICE?? TOTAL FAILURE!!

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    • I only hope GRZ, Banks and the kind Zambians including business houses will come to the immediate rescue of all individuals whose livelihoods have been affected by this tragedy.

      God bless Zambia

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    • Third World Minions. They rob themselves of prosperity through vandalism. Forever tightening the bonds of poverty.

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    • Arrest all PF cadres starting with Kampyongo and all the fires and pylons being destroyed will be safe.

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    • PF and Lungu doing all this to keep HH at Mukobeko? These cunts will stop at nothing until zambia is ashes. Everyone and everything zambian is collateral. Kampyongo is suspect number one and also a very useless Home A. Minister. He failed to act on intel that a named Chief was behind the arson attack.

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    • 1. First and foremost, we condemn such acts if indeed it was an act of terror
      2. Secondly, there is no need to speculate and threaten people, let the police investigate thoroughly
      3. Clearly, something is not right in the country and screaming more threats is not helping
      4. Its always better to start from the root cause and then you will find the answers

      Its also worth to note that these are consequences of wickedness. Zambia is simply reaping what she has been sowing; violence, injustice, corruption, etc.

      President Lungu must sober up and try and resolve all these issues.

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    • Why conclude someoneburned it before investigating? Who knows maybe it was caused by an electrical fault? These leaders are scare mongers and evil minded; that’s why they are not pragmatic.

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    • At least the funds for renovations repairs will not be a problem as Lazy Lungu’s govt has $20m for new State House simply lying in the bank waiting to handed to a lucky contractor!!

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    • @Nubian Princess well put. Why burn something that’s giving one a livelihood? Street vending to grow.

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    • Macdonald Nyirenda is a material witness because he has deep insight into this matter. The said witness has placed himself at the crime scene, technically, he has implicated himself. He must identify the persons who went to sweep the city market. Furthermore, Macdonald Nyirenda and other persons who were within the vicinity of the crime scene must be thoroughly questioned and, biological specimens must be taken from them, so that forensic investigations can be initiated and concluded. The Locard Principal of investigations has to be applied accordingly. PF political and emotionally charged statements must be eliminated so as to allow experts (if there are still available in Zambia) to execute informed investigations, as opposed to marketing PF as a property which belongs to the luck thugs…

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    • Furthermore, Macdonald Nyirenda and other persons who were within the vicinity of the crime scene must be thoroughly questioned and, biological specimens must be taken from them, so that forensic investigations can be initiated and concluded. The Locard Principal of investigations has to be applied accordingly. PF political and emotionally charged statements must be eliminated so as to allow experts (if there are still available in Zambia) to execute informed investigations, as opposed to marketing PF as a property which belongs to the luck thugs and biased PF supporters. VIVA HH & UPND.

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    • There a number of suspects in this matter. For example, a person can be charged and tried in a court of law on the basis of his/her involvement in a crime. Most criminal acts involve planning, although a number of them involve impulsive perpetrators. Thus, parties that participate in the preliminary stages which subsequently lead to the actual commission of an act are as guilty as ‘foot soldiers’ who commit an act that is defined as illegal by statutes of the state. That said, even top politicians can concurrently plan with many PF thugs to perpetuate an illegal act and, instruct the willing PF foot soldiers (sub-humans) to carry out the illicit activity. In this case, it would not be out of the ordinary if Lungu was an active participant in the planning phases before his departure for…

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    • Thus, parties that participate in the preliminary stages which subsequently lead to the actual commission of an act are as guilty as ‘foot soldiers’ who commit an act that is defined as illegal by statutes of the state. That said, even top politicians can concurrently plan with many PF thugs to perpetuate an illegal act and, instruct the willing PF foot soldiers (sub-humans) to carry out the illicit activity. In this case, it would not be out of the ordinary if Lungu was an active participant in the planning phases before his departure for non-beneficial usual African talk shows in Addis Ababa. Viva HH & UPNFD.

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    • This is a sad development for the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise. First things first …

      GRZ should immediately implement some kind of relief for the affected families. In the US this could equate to California fires, etc and FEMA would swing into action for the affected.

      Second, get to the bottom of this without pointing fingers. Whether it’s arson, an act of terror or simply sabotage, we get to the bottom before issuing presumptuous statements.

      Third, we need a new Fire Marshall with new building codes in place … it’s not justifiable to have such a huge building without proper fire hydrants in place

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    • I cant help but shed tears for the loss my brothers, sisters, mothers & fathers have lost. I know how hard it is to earn an honest living & yet the devil is keen to easily destroy. I’m praying to my Lord to give you comfort. The Lord has been shaming the devil for ages & for every challenge the devil always loses. My God will take care of you as He has always done. God has heard your cry & seen your tears. He will come through for you because He covers this country with His wings. I know of some Churches that’ve stopped of praying for our country because of fear or being partisan but many more millions of us Zambians are on our knees praying for our beloved country. God Bless Zambia!

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    • My honesty position is a weakness in the eyes of my opponents. Nonetheless, in the province of judgments, measured honesty is a quality of thoughts. That said, I do not sympathize with the PF supporters if they were negatively impacted upon in the above-said incident. Even though I emphasized with other victims, it would not make any tangible variation in relative to PF thugs who traumatise genuine victims. My advice is that the unexpected occurred, therefore, sympathies, moaning and whining will not change anything. Victims must just dust themselves and continue moving forward. I doubt if the PF villains and the lead villain (Lungu) can contribute anything other than using their propaganda machines to sell the PF as a property of luck PF hooligans and die hard supporters. Pity. Viva HH &…

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    • That said, I do not sympathize with the PF supporters if they were negatively impacted upon in the above-said incident. Even though I empathized with other victims, it would not make any tangible variation in relative to PF thugs who traumatise genuine victims. My advice is that the unexpected occurred, therefore, sympathies, moaning and whining will not change anything. Victims must just dust themselves and continue moving forward. I doubt if the PF villains and the lead villain (Lungu) can contribute anything other than using their propaganda machines to sell the PF as a property of luck PF hooligans and die hard supporters. Pity. Viva HH & UPND.

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    • The id1ots behind these arson criminal acts need to be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law. These are extreme barbaric acts that have nothing to do with partisan politics. Burning down places where poor innocent Zambians try to make a living from is not the way to deal with politics. Patriotic Zambians need to report these criminals if you know them. Why can’t you just protest peacefully if you don’t like what the PF is doing? Why target poor innocent Zambians? The government needs to begin installing security cameras in all public places like this one, and then set up monitoring centers across the country. That way they can see who’s doing what and what time, and it helps with investigations. Also put fire extinguishers inside the building and fire hydrants near…

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    • (Continued)… the building. And make sure the fire trucks make it to emergency places like this in less than five minutes. Lastly, try to make the building as fireproof as possible, when you fix it up next time.

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    • IN THE FIRST PLACE THIS IS TOO BAD IF THERE’S SOMEONE OR A GROUP OF PEOPLE PLANNING AND CARRYING OUT THIS SERIES OF ARSON.
      HOWEVER: IS OUR POLICE FORCE AND OTHER SECURITY AND OTHER SECURITY AND INTELLIGENT WINGS PRO-ACTIVE? UP TO NOW THEY DON’T KNOW THE PATTERN OF ARSON, SURELY? HOW COME NO ONE HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR THE SAME ATTROCITY? CCTV IS NOW VERY CHEAP. THE GOVERNMENT MUST ENACT LAWS FOR EVERY BUSINESS TO INSTAL CCTV IN AND AROUND THEIR PREMISES. AND ROADS LEADING TO PUBLIC PLACES MUST BE MANNED BY CCTV INCLUDING HOSPITALS, ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS, ETC.

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    • ZAMBIA SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT CAN’T COPY GOOD PRACTICES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. FOR INSTANCE WHY HASN’T THE FIRE BRIGADE BEEN DECENTRALISED IN TOWNS AND CITIES. EG, WHY CAN’T FIRE BRIGADES BE STRATEGICALLY POSITIONED AT MARKETS, HOSPITALS AND RESIDENTIAL AREAS? WHY ONLY HAVE FIRE BRIGADE ONLY OPPOSITE LUSAKA CENTAL POLICE STATION AND KK AIRPORT? PLEASE, DECENTRALISE SERVICES SUCH AS AMBULANCE, POLICE AND FIRE BRIGADE ITSELF.

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    • Which monster iwe chi mambwe.Dont put Zambia on fire don’t you know that violence calls for more violence.In the end we shall all be loosers. Lets champion peace threatening wont help you think ifwe tatwakwata amaboko?

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    • See what culture the PF brought has done? Rule of law is an afterthought in this PF era.

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  2. UPND should be declared a terrorist group with immediate effect. GMB should be immediately be arrested.

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    • Haven’t you heard that he was talking before departure for Zambia – you are very stu.pid, right? Do you realize that this is a tragedy?

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  3. Desparadoes United Ponio Nio Dogs are Responsible for Barbaric Activities.
    Disgustingly Pathetic!

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  4. They should arrest and charge the fire brigade for failing to put out a simple fire. No one died, just get on with your self inflicted miserable lives.

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  5. the chief wancker and mastabetar Kaponya (HH) is still making his Satamic children commit acts of sabotage.
    Lusaka is safer with Kaili #1 in Mukobeko

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    • Kudos switch on and as you were.Lets talk wisely these are not jokes.Gods hand is on Zambia,because of our sins.

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  6. Why are you quick to blame UPND? Do you have the evidence? It can only be the Panga Family who are doing all this and accuse others. You are known for committing crimes because Police never take any action if evil pf commits crimes. But remember no evil acts stays forever, light will wipe out darkness.

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    • It’s because of well known UPND zealots like Larry Mweetwa was rejoicing and celebrating on his face book page he posted before pulling it off….Next question…

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  7. Who will be charged for sabotage if it is discovered that it was an electrical faulty? Why is the government quick to say it is sabotage? It seems they know who did this or they planned to do it and claim otherwise. From all statements given by the ECL, the Veep, Stephen K, Kanganja J and F Sikazwe it is clear that GRZ wants to politicize this tragedy.
    For once lets be objective as we act. The Youth in charge of security ensured that the police opened the market so council could clean. was there any other person apart from the council and police?

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  8. We lack leadership in this country. They have no clue what is happening in the country with all the intelligence they have? Just issuing empty threats.

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  9. THE PERPETRATORS WILL BE KNOWN VERY SOON.THERE IS NO SECRET UNDER THE SUN.GOD ALMIGHTY THERE IS NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE BEFORE YOU.YOU ARE GOD WHO MADE THE WAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN THE ISRAEL TO PASS THROUGH THE RED SEE AND YOU CHANGES NOT.YOU PERFORM WONDERS AND OUR PRAYER IS THAT THE CULPRIT BE KNOWN AND PAY FOR THEIR SINS.SO MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING SO SUFFER BECAUSE OF THIS.TOO BAD INDEED.

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  10. This is an inside job. The fire started when Security opened the market to allow the City Council to sweep the market at 05.20 hrs. The Market is locked up at Nite and guarded thru ought the Nite. There is a Police State at the Market. The Police,Market Security and the Market Stall owners must be made to account for this fire started by an insider.

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  11. Its plain and obvious to see that these are clandestine activities meant to sabotage the state!
    However fire should NOT be fought with fire! What is needed is a reconcliatory approach in handling these matters!
    We do not want to risk a conflict! I never ever want to see my beloved Zambians in a conflict situation!!! God forbid, Heaven forbid!

    Reconciliation must start-if it means releasing HH so be it! Zambia is bigger than anyone, anyone!
    Advisors – provide advice not de-vice!

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    • 2020–I applaud your reasoning today. This is how it is supposed to be. Zambians regardless of political affiliations should come together in such situations rather trying to apportion blame on one side.

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  12. But still Lazy Lungu had to jump on a plane and get air miles….when isctgis incompetent utterly lazy Bum Edgar going to hold a press conference?

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    • @ Jay jay
      Ulimbwa iwe waymfwa? UPNDONKEYS are hating the poor innocent and they expect support from the same? HH must be hang and GBM arrested immediately. They must explain what they meant by Armagedon in Zambia.
      We have been too lenient with these UPND dogs for so long just because one donkey can pay them our stolen money from privatisation? Lets be firm these chaps in the Under 5 clinic. And its time we cleaned up institutions with T0ngas and stop employing them.

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    • JAY JAY YOU ARE PATHETIC
      ECL WILL WIN AGAIN IN 2012
      WILL YOU STILL BE GNASHING YOUR GUMS EVEN THEN
      BECAUSE BY 2021 YOU WILL HAVE NO TEETH TO GNASH

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    • JAY JAY YOU ARE PATHETIC
      ECL WILL WIN AGAIN IN 2021 OFCOURSE
      WILL YOU STILL BE GNASHING YOUR GUMS EVEN THEN
      BECAUSE BY 2021 YOU WILL HAVE NO TEETH TO GNASH

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  13. Dear Zambians; but why this pre-conceived mindset talk coming even from highest leadership?? I would expect before any suspicions talk notes, our leaders would be very adept what to say? dont they think this kind of PR is a further recipe to cause further hatred? But again, if they are quick to spot out sabotage, it means they have some intelligence know reason. & if they do and things are they way they are coming out. I fear for my country. Its like perpetrators are far ahead than our security in their sabotage agenda, which shouldn’t be the case. I would await for report & i await to hear how our leaders would be able to say based on the report findings.Its all sick!

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  14. Dear peace loving Zambians,
    When disaster strikes, first things first. In this case, the people affected, what shall we do to alleviate their suffering? It does not matter now how the fire started, they need assistance. We cannot conclude this was sabotage or terrorism or political. We must have faith in our systems to investigate thoroughly. Let those appointed to do so do what they are expected to do, investigate and let the results be known to all. Then we can take appropriate actions. If it is sabotage, then we act according. If it is an act of human negligence (e.g. leaving some appliance on), then we put in place measures to avoid a similar disaster. If it is a naked power cable then we sort that out. But from what I read above, already the issue is politicized and that won’t help…

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  15. The problem of filth, garbage, street vendors and all the confusion in Lusaka just got worse. This is the problem of putting characters in office who can’t deliver. What do these people do, Lusaka province minister, City Major and Local government minster??? If we had resolved some of those problems when we had the opportunity, today we will not dealing with a much tougher assignment after these fires. Expect more people to get to the streets to survive and you can’t blame them…
    #Poor-leadership

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  16. So you do all these atrocities simply to see that hh is released? Let him be released by courts of law and not by the executive. That will be interference by the executive on independent judiciary. If he is innocent of the charges against him the courts will clear him when proved innocent. So stop burning Zesco pylons and markets. Its not only PF members suffering but all of us are. You can see all these are happening where PF is strong and not in Dundumwezi

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  17. Mr. President, please declare a state of emergency so that these fools can be caged without trial before they set the whole country on fire. There is no way we can isolate this is incident from what happened in Kafue with ZESCO pylons and ZESCO transformers in Ndola. These acts appear to be politically motivated and people responsible for these barbaric acts should be caged.

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  18. Mr. President, please declare a state of emergency so that these fo0ls can be caged without trial before they set the whole country on fire. There is no way we can isolate this is incident from what happened in Kafue with ZESCO pylons and ZESCO transformers in Ndola. These acts appear to be politically motivated and people responsible for these barbaric acts should be caged.

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  19. It’s like most Zambians are clutching at straws, the bad economic situation in house holds must really be taking its toll. Some people have lost their capacity to think logically. People are behaving like villagers who will always cry ‘witchcraft’ whenever someone dies, irrespective of circumstances. Reading some comments above, it’s like people are commenting in a tranquilised state. Sometimes this can be the result of being lost at sea, not knowing what to do to improve our lot. So the only thing is to blame the obvious scapegoat- UPND. The youth security chairperson has clearly stated that the market caught fire after the police opened the place for council cleaners to sweep. The investigations should start from there.

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  20. This fire has all the hallmarks of PF behind it. Already they know the fire is an act of arson. How did they arrive at this conclusion before investigations are conducted?

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  21. Lusaka city market built and opened by MMD and eventually gutted during the chaotic rule of the anarchy loving PF party.

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  22. We all know that this is done by UPND so as to make everyone believe Zambia is ungovernable
    How can you distroy the country you want to rule.

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  23. This is a tragic news for the poor mother’s, fathers and youth’s who are trying to make ends meet, feed children, take children to school and just meeting the activities of daily living. Mr president, all the people affected by the fire are looking up to you and your government for anything you could do to help and not just words of keeping calm, cause they have mouths to feed, some with small children who doesn’t understand what keeping calm means. Do something with the money you are building roads and be their savior.

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  24. Icipuba fikoswe na fikolwe fimbulwa mano ficitafye conse cacitika ninshi ni UPND. Balekeni abanenu nabo bekaleko mutende. Nabo bena Zambia kabili bonse twapangwa fye na Yehova umo fye mpo. Mutila muli bena Kristu ninshi mwakwatilo lupato pabanenu? Ni Lesa nshi mupepa? Muleko lupato pantu Kabumba akamukanda pamo na Chakolwa wenu.

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  25. Abash PF’s political rhetoric. This is a disaster of catastrophic proportions. Set aside your horrible politics and attend to the victims of the disaster.

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  26. First let the police do an investigation, after that the state can start pointing at the people who did this. That’s the professional way of handling any issue.

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  27. “The chosen one” what kind of English is ” I can’t help but shed tears for the LOSS my bothers, sisters, mothers & fathers have LOST. The loss they have lost! Kikikikikiki! But I hear you?

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  28. That $20m you want to spend on a new state house, why not on new fire fighting equipment?

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    • No, it should be used to rebuild city market. I’m sure now the President has admitted that there’s political tension in the country. Two fires in the same night in two different places! It cannot be a coincidence

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  29. Who does n’t know that it is Useless Party for National Destruction behind all this nonsense?

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  30. Let the police investigate this matter fully. stop pointing fingers
    God Bless the Zambia Army, God Bless sikazwethegreat and God bless Zambia

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  31. All those calling for police investigation on this fire issue must seriously think again. We have known for a long, long time that the PF police are instructed by the powers that-be, Mr Lungu, Kapyongo and others to report and do what they are ordered to do without question.
    Already Mr Lungu has said ‘no retaliatory action is taken’. This implies that he has already made conclusions as to who is behind the inferno and therefore his police can never think otherwise.
    This issue is extremely serious and requires an independent commission to establish the truth and this cannot be left in the hands of the corrupt, inept and unprofessional PF police.
    Some reports suggest that the PF police were involved in this and so it will be foolish to expect them to investigate themselves.

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  32. Very very sad development. May God give strength and faith to all those that have lost their livelihoods through the loss of merchandise in the inferno. It’s very painful am not happy about all this. I pray that the government should find it within their hearts to come to the aid of all these bereaved families. Very sad.

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