POLICE in Ndola have arrested a charcoal trader for criminal negligence, which resulted in the gutting of Kapalala market.
Copperbelt police commissioner Charity Katanga withheld the suspect’s names due to heightened tension among the affected marketeers.
Katanga said the fire started after a brazier was left unattended by the trader who went to offload charcoal that was delivered to the market.
“There was a brazier which was left in the makeshifts. In the early hours of today, one office loader had gone to offload some charcoal and left the brazier unattended, which exploded and the fire spread to other wooden makeshifts. Due to the wind, the fire spread,”
“The suspect has been arrested and charged with criminal negligence contrary to section 372 chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia. The suspect was taken to the scene and six witnesses testified and will appear in court tomorrow for the subject offence.”
She also said 12 people had been arrested in connection with the looting that took place while the market was burning.
Katanga also warned members of the public to stop giving alarming statements over the gutting of the market.
“We will not tolerate that. The long arm of the law will visit them. We are not short of laws to ensure that law and order prevails,” said Katanga.