CATHOLIC Commission for Justice and Peace Sinda coordinator Davide Pontino Phiri says if government fails to find perpetrators of burning markets, then they know something.
In interview on Saturday over the gutted of COMESA market in Lusaka, Phiri said government should show seriousness in finding the root cause of the fires that have continued to cause losses of goods in various markets in the country.
“The burning of the markets is quite a bad and disheartening thing because the markets are a benefit of everyone…. That is why the government should see to it that perpetrators are brought to book than just talking of investigations that do not yield any fruits,” he said
Phiri said electrical faults should not be excuses because human beings with destructive motives were behind the fires.
“These are heartless people who want to tarnish the image of the nation. There are a lot of markets that have been gutted and we can’t say it’s electrical faults, no! These are people with evil minds against fellow humans,” Phiri said
“We need the results of the investigations because the government has been telling us that they will investigate but no results were [being] given to the people. And if top leadership fails to give citizens the results, especially to bring to book the perpetrators then it will show that the top leaders know something because why and how do they fail to find culprits?” he asked
Phiri said top leadership is not doing justice to the people and expressed worry that as long as the perpetrators were not caught, their inhumanity would continue and many lives could be lost.
And Sinda Community Orientation Development Programme (CODEP) coordinator Rosemary Mwale said women were the most hit by market fires because they were mostly involved in trading.
She feared that more families surviving on trading in markets would become vulnerable.
“Women are mostly hit because they keep homes and look after many people such as orphans, school pupils as you know that most businesses are run by women. It’s hard for them to start scouting for capital; where will they get it, anyway? It’s [burning of market] a blow to the development of the women and their families,” she said.
“Anyone who is behind this is doing harm to the nation and to their relatives. If he thinks he is punishing the government then they are lying [to themselves] because government remains unshaken, it remains firm and we have seen it reconstructing some previous gutted market like City Market, that is how serious this government is,” said Mwale, who also expressed sympathy to the bereaved family of the woman who died in the inferno.