THE Zambia Police Service says it highly suspects that the fire which destroyed goods at Lusaka City Market on Tuesday could have been caused by someone who understands the security system of the trading place well.
Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said it is strange that the fire started barely 10 minutes after the paramilitary officers who were patrolling the infrastructure in the night left.
She said the perpetrator could be one who knows that there are usually a few people in the market at the time the officers leave and understands that it is not possible to ignite fire when security is tighter.
Ms Katongo said this when she featured on the Hot Seat programme on Hot FM Radio yesterday.
“There is an agreed-upon procedure on how they do their work at night in the market, and before the security for the local authority knocks off, they hand over to the police. So, even early in the morning, our officers do a check before opening it to the public, and this was done, only to be called 10 minutes later that there was a fire,” she said.
Ms Katongo said Zambia Police officers and Zesco staff as well as fire experts from the local authority are currently on the ground trying to establish the cause of the fire.
“With what has been happening in the country, any sane person would be quick to say that there is something wrong somewhere,” she said.
Ms Katongo said it is rare that a person who has caused a fire can be found immediately, which is why the police is offering the K500,000 to members of the public with information that can lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.