Fire has swept through a block of shops on Freedomway in the central business district of Kabwe leaving goods worth billions of kwacha burnt completely as firemen struggled to quench the fire with skeleton staff and inadequate fire tender.
And government has admitted that they don’t have capacity to respond to emergencies like fire, and if the situation continues, more and more property will be lost through fires that have become so common in Kabwe.
The fire started around 17:30hrs after the close of business on Friday burning among other shops G.M auto trading, Kakinelu Kine trading and Hot or not takeaway while people watched hopelessly as the fire was growing.
It took more than 30 minutes for the fire fighters to come but the fire brigade and fire training school is only less than 2 kilometres from the scene of the fire.
The delay by the fire brigade annoyed residents who became riotous forcing police to beef up security with additional officers from the antirobery squad. The fire fighters at the scene were very few forcing ordinary citizens to take up the risky job of attempting to quench the inferno.
Meanwhile Kabwe district commissioner Patrick Chishala and Mayor Moses Mwansa have regretted the continued fire outbreak in the town.
“This is about the fifth fire outbreak from the time I was appointed DC, and every time we have been unable to quench the fire. Our people are losing property because we lack the capacity to fight these emergencies,” said Chishala at the scene.
But when asked on the inefficiency of the council and the fires, Mayor Mwansa said the fires and the PF government being in power were a mere coincidence but he was hopeful that the council will procure better fire fighting units to curb the destructive infernos.