UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has pledged to help the government in implementing measures that will help reduce market fire incidences that have characterised the country in the recent past.
Hichilema, in the company of his vice Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba alias GBM, UPND mayoral candidate Kangwa Chileshe and other party officials, today visited Lusaka’s COMESA market which was gutted on Thursday night through to yesterday morning and were received by mourning and helpless traders.
Addressing the market chairman and the traders who mobbed his entourage, Hichilema pledged the party’s support towards implementing ways to curb market infernos.
“Condolences to the family of the deceased, one life is just too much, you cannot compensate for the lost life. There is need to find a lasting solution to these fires. At the design stage, at the construction stage, there is need to take into account enough prescribed fire prevention [measures] because we cannot keep losing lives and property like this,” Hichilema said.
“We expect that going forward, measures can be put in place, that when fires occur, accidents occur, they can be controlled within a short space of time, otherwise we are condemning so many lives to
Hichilema added that Zambia needs to start thinking of ways to deal with accidents such as fire which he said his party was willing to help support.
“We are willing to support all efforts in our small way towards these remedies that we are offering because we can’t be in the same situation over and over, then we are not progressive human beings. We must begin to think of ways to reduce these incidences but it won’t happen without planning and implementing,” Hichilema said.
And in responding to some female traders who cried to him saying “Twachula mwebanthu bakwa Lesa, twachula, twalachita shani twalikwata abana banshiwa (we have suffered people of God, what shall we do with the orphans we keep)” Hichilema pledged to talk to the market management and help in some way.
“Thank you so much mayo twaumfwa, echo twaishila kuno. Kuti tione vili kuchitika kuno, tikambisane na team yanu kapena pangono tingatandize (madam we have heard your plight, that is why we have come to see what is happening here so that we can discuss with your team maybe we can help each other a bit),” said Hichilema.
Some traders could be seen scavenging through the gutted stands as some had already set up new trading areas for their merchandise.