Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has thrown out a request by M’mbelwa District Council and some vendors to conduct an assessment of the cause of the fire that burnt down Mzimba Market, to necessitate compensation.
Vendors and other witnesses allege that the fire started because of a faulty Escom line. The district, on March 8 this year, experienced a 10- minute power outage and when the power resumed, witnesses saw sparks on an Escom electrical pole.
The vendors want Escom to consider compensating them, arguing they lost their businesses.
However, Escom spokesperson Kitty Chingota on Sunday said Escom will not assess the cause of the market fire since vendors and the council are faulting the company.
She further said Escom cannot carry out investigations or an assessment on the fire since it is an interested party and people might not believe the outcome if it is not in their favour.
Said Chingota:“ They should watch what they are saying. Those are allegations. No investigation has been instituted to find out who is to blame for the fire.”
Mzimba district commissioner Thomas Chirwa said Escom was only trying to complicate the matter. He said the council and vendors are surprised that Escom is not coming up with a report or conducting an assessment when they promised to send officials to carry out the same. n