Right Price Wholesale, a shop owned by a businessperson of Asian origin in Zomba City, was burnt down on Monday, barely six weeks after Hua Yue belonging to a Chinese entrepreneur met the same fate.
The fire was first spotted at around 1735 hours as businesspeople were knocking off. The shop is situated along Namiwawa Street.
A visit by The Nation revealed it took over one-and-a-half hours for the fire brigade to begin putting out the blaze.
According to witnesses, the second fire fighting engine was chased by angry businesspersons and did not make it to the scene due to congestion on the street.
However, head of the engineering department at the Zomba City Council Fire Brigade, Lodius Sendaluzi, said in an interview efforts to put out the fire were in order, except that a mob at the scene hindered their work.
Said Sendaluzi: “People started throwing stones at the vehicle. We told our driver to reverse and turn back to Shoprite U-Save so that he should use another route to the back of the shop.
“We are always alert even on a holiday like today, we were ready because we work on 24-hour shifts but we are not to blame because people interrupted our work in the process.”
Efforts to call Eastern Region Police spokesperson Thomeck Nyaude proved futile. His assistant, Autilia Kumanga, told The Nation she was not aware that a shop in Zomba had caught fire.