The Kabwata Flat on Fire
The Kabwata Flat on Fire

Police in Lusaka have apprehended a 19-year-old girl from Kabwata in connection with a fire that saw two toddlers jumping out of a burning building last Friday.

Martha Hatambo is likely to be charged with criminal negligence after she allegedly locked her two nephews in the house, on the second floor while she went out to run an errand.

Police Acting Spokesperson Rae Hammonga has confirmed the development to ZNBC news in Lusaka.

The toddlers, twins of five years were seen waving from a burning building and residents devised a rescue plan to catch them as they jumped from the burning building.

The incident has also highlighted the need for fire extinguishers in such buildings as the ones that were available at the time of the fire were not working.

And Lusaka Province Minister Mr Bowman Lusambo has asked the family that lived in the house that was gutted at the Kabwata itel branded Flats to quickly find a house where he will pay rentals for 6 months on their behalf.

And Mr Lusambo has learnt that the two children who jumped through a window from the third floor of the burning Kabwata Flat are in a stable condition.

Mr Lusambo who visited the house as a special envoy of His Excellency, President Edgar Lungu, Friday, also interacted with the twins and urged the family to put God first.

The 5 year old twins escaped a burning Flat on the third floor of an Itel Flat in Kabwata residential area after the Niece to the father locked them in the house after school and went out.

Passers by had to throw stones to break the windows as they made efforts to help the Kids escape from the burning house.

And the father to the twins, one Brian Hatambo, narrated the incident to the Minister explaining that he was forced to book rooms at a Lodge to avoid subjecting the children to a shock following the incident.

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40 COMMENTS

    • Bowman is mocking victims. Why can’t he find a house for them himself, and not just forcing them to find that house.

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    • The condo board should have had insurance to cover hotel stays for residents.

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    • Yet we have US$ 42 million fire engines which are no where to be seen that are supposed to have flown to the fire incidence, rescued the kids and extinguished the fire.

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    • @1Charles; Exactly. Remember the 29 year old who was shot or is it stabbed at the umbilical cord!

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    • And looking at the picture the flat on fire is on the second floor not on the 3rd like you are reporting

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    • #1.5 Xam leak, look again.. it’s a 4 storey building, there’s the ground floor, then first and second floor.

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    • You wonder where the $1 million Fire trucks were when their base is 1.5 miles away at Evelyn Hone…..These blocks need to demolished the facilities in them are non existent …I remember when the blocks were first constructed 80s there was a caretaker for every block now there just burn refuse and there is no lighting in stairways.

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    • The fire trucks came and prevented the fire from spreading to other flats.. l salute the firemen. Imagine if we had the old fire trucks!! Disaster

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    • Redo – There is nothing complicated with a fire in a concrete block on the second floor ..any fire truck can put it out even those ZAF old trucks can do it!

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    • they don’t know the meaning of a toddler, ati bakalemba even ba editor noishiba. no bwino bwino.

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  1. Bowman may mean well by this paying of things will just encourage more corruption as these now rich politicians compete to show off their kind deeds. This would have been a great opportunity to put whatever ministry is charge to work. The fire extinguishers are supposed to be inspected periodically which doesn’t happen in a country like ours.

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  2. Ba Police naimwe, fyonse ni charge this or that sure? What happened to the warn and caution? What if this has always the practice of the family, bad as it is? Please don’t traumatized that 19 year old further! You have not even told the public about what caused the fire and you are already drawing conclusions to start charging people. More lives could be at risk if the fire was a result of a design problem with those flats and a worse incident may just be waiting to happen! Learn from the way your friends investigated the recent London Fire and how they identified the root cause and are not rectifying it! As a rule of thumb, human factors are dealt with last during any investigation! Criminalizing an incident blinds investigators to other potential root causes!

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  3. Who inspects fire hydrants,fire hoses and fire extinguishers ?You should be proactive not reactive.Conduct fire drills lazy cunts

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  4. Come on police, apprehending a19 year old toddler girl? For criminal negligence? Come on Zambia police, do the honourable thing and release her now, and I mean NOW! You are traumatising a poor little girl toddler instead of just counselling her. I can just imagine the poor toddler girl in filthy police cells at Kabwata.

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  5. Safety is very important to us, you need to investigate before you give judgment by doing so incident like these will be minimized.

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  6. Awe mwaandi,”les nouveaux riches”(the new rich), it’s just flaunting riches in the name of helping without regard to understanding how the fire Started, what measures need to be put into place to avoid a repeat and protect a larger community of Kabwata and Lusaka! And the mayor…? No word from him!? What a disfunctional society we are in?

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  7. In Zambia police seem omnipotent imwe shuwa. Ati criminal negligence?
    Are there no social workers in the country to deal with this?

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  8. Wanton arresting is not going to help. There are so many such cases which go unnoticed simply because there is no fire incident which will bring them to to publics attention!

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  9. I wish to strongly commend the ubuntu spirit by the kabwata community. You guys really switched on your humanism act and saved these two innocent angels. It’s the politicians who want to spoil Zambia. Zambians in all corners are very helpful compassionate people. We will outlive these crooked politicians

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  10. I would like to strongly commend the ubuntu spirit by the kabwata community. You guys really switched on your instinctive humanism and saved these two innocent angels.
    We can all see that It’s the politicians who want to spoil Zambia. Zambians in all corners are very helpful compassionate people. We will outlive these crooked politicians. Viva Zambia!

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  11. Come on Zambia police, that girl is essential a toddler, arresting a toddler girl naimwe? Criminal negligence? Come on, do the honourable thing for a change and release the toddler now, I mean NOW.
    I can imagine the poor toddler in a filthy cell at Kabwaya police. I hope she is being held at and sharing IG Kanganja’s daughter’s bedroom.

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  12. Ba kapokola apa mwaluba. Where do you dream up such charges as if she locked them in and started the fire?

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  13. What if the errand the 19 year old was actually for the kids’ benefit…? Did she start the fire? Was it the kids that started the fire?? Or maybe an electric fault occurred and sent the house ablaze??? Okay enough of the questions, I just think it’s unreasonable to charge the teenage girl without a solid investigation. You’re only traumatizing her and inviting depression into her life cos JELE ni yoipa. It’s not a good place for first timers and everybody else.

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    • Exactly my question. The cause of the fire has not even been established. I guess that was not the first time the 19 year old left the kids alone to run some errands

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  14. Thank God for protecting and saving the children.
    Kudos to kabwata community for the job well done.
    AMEN.

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  15. This where Zambians can learn the value of insurance. The insurance companies can now selll insurance to any tenant who wants to sign up and be covered for against damages, hospital bills, hotel accommodation even life insurance.
    We thank God no life was lost.

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  16. So now all the money is with the politicians ready to render any financial assistance each time a calamity occurs

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  17. It pays to be in politics hey. Remember the groups we used to be put in back at primary? group 1, ba nzelu. Group 2, middle thinking capacity and group 3, ifikopo. Group 1 are now engineers, economists etc and comfortably working. Group 2s are entrepreneurs and have formed companies and have employed group 1s to run them on their behalf. Group 3s have joined politics and are controlling every one including group 1s and 2s!
    Back to the point, when Kalusha Bwalya was fined for bad behavior at FIFA, Lusambo volunteered to pay for the fine of more than K100,000.00 He is volunteering now to pay for 6 months rentals for the poor kabwata family. He has loose cash. It pays to be in politics!!!!!

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  18. The Police should first look at the cause of the fire and find a remedy to the problem. It is a known fact that those flats font have any running water. The taps last had water 40 years ago. Did you expect the people to use air to fight the fire? The girl who has been arrested may not have anything to do with the fire! With the constant load shedding going on, Zesco may have caused the fire! Come one and wise up dirty cops!

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  19. In a lot of countries it is an offence to leave young children alone in the house. I am sure Zambia has something to that effect in it’s laws. It’s not about whether the girl started the fire, it’s about neglecting the children.

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  20. The “Reputation Entrepreneur,” as usual, has already grabbed the opportunity to advertise his commiserations by offering 6 months rent.

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  21. It’s seems your readers are ignorant of the facts of this case. Much blame goes to your half baked article.
    Firstly at 19 years old, that young lady is an adult. She’s old enough to drive, she’s old enough to marry, she’s old enough to vote, she’s old enough to work and pay taxes, she’s old enough to sue and be sued and she’s certainly old enough to face criminal charges. According to radio Phoenix, znbc and hot FM, she locked those kids in the house to run an errand leaving the stove on with a pan of cooking oil. The initial smoke that engulfed the flat was that of hot burning cooking oil followed by a raging fire. This is criminal negligence. The cops are spot on.

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