KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
THE business community has started responding to President Lungu’s request to help victims of market fires, with Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ)
pledging K100,000 as support to the affected traders.
And victims of the gutted Lusaka City Market have said the trading centre was their source of revenue for their families and they have commended Government for coming to their aid.
On Wednesday, in the wake of Tuesday’s devastating fire at the Lusaka City Market, President Lungu announced the formation of a ministerial community that will spearhead the rebuilding of gutted trading places and he appealed to the business committee to support the initiative.
BAZ chairperson Charles Mudiwa said the association is deeply saddened by the fire that swept through the market, and pledged that the association seeks to alleviate the sufferings of the thousands of affected traders.
“We are deeply saddened by the fire that swept through the Lusaka City Market. We empathise with the traders whose goods were gutted in the inferno. BAZ as an association pledges K100,000 towards alleviating the sufferings the traders have endured,” he said.
He said some of the affected traders are customers of the various banks affiliated to BAZ.
“Many of them are being serviced by banks around the market,” he said.
And victims of the gutted market have commended Government for coming to their aid during this difficult moment.
The victims who gathered at Nakatindi Hall in Lusaka yesterday to declare the amount of goods they have lost in the fire said they are happy that Government will help them.
One of the marketeers, Elizabeth Chomba, who has been trading at the market since 1998, said she is going through pain especially that she lost all her property in the inferno.
Mrs Chomba, who is a widow and looking after a family of eight, said she is at a loss as she supports her family through her business.
“I pay for my son who is studying in China from the money I realise from City Market. With this disaster how do I manage?” she asked.
She said she generated an income of K200 per day from her stationery business before the fateful day.
Another trader, a florist, who has been in the market for eight years, said government support is cardinal for the rekindling of her business.
“I now have nowhere else to seek help from to support my family,” Ms Prudence Bwale said.
At the burnt-out section of the market, Police forensic department officers were yesterday still conducting their investigations into the cause of the fire.
At a press conference in Lusaka yesterday, President Lungu announced that Zesco have ruled out an electrical fault as the cause of the fire.