Government says it is convinced that some ill-intentioned people are behind some of the fires gutting markets and other buildings and has since said it will trace the culprits to have them punished.
Speaking in an interview on Saturday, Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango said some of the fires were very suspicious and government believes some people are behind them.
He said it is shocking to have markets and other buildings being gutted down now and then without proper causes of such fires.
Mhango said such fires are not only affecting lives of vendors and owners of buildings, but also the economy of the country at large. He said markets and other structures in town help in revenue generation and each time there are such fires government loses on revenue besides pumping in a lot of money to reconstruct the markets.
He said police will have to properly investigate the fires and bring culprits to book. He said people cannot be suffering because of a few people that have ill intentions.
Said Mhango: “We have got information that some people are planning these fires. This cannot be happening. We are sending a strong warning to those that are doing this to stop. The police will also have to investigate the fires and bring culprits to book.”
In the past two years, Malawi has been experiencing fires that have claimed lives and destroyed property worth billions of kwacha. Some of the causes of the fires are yet to be established.
For the past two weeks, Malawi has been terrorised fires that have destroyed markets, commercial buildings, lives and homes. The Northern Region has registered most of the fires which have hit Vigwagwa Market in Mzuzu and part of Viphya Plantations popularly known as Chikangawa Forest which destroyed hectares of pine trees.
The plantation fire was followed by the Mzuzu Central Market fire on Wednesday which affected the market and some nearby commercial buildings, destroying items worth millions of kwacha.
Barely a day after the Mzuzu fire, a bushfire claimed lives of three children of the same family in Nkhata Bay West Constituency and the incident was followed by another market fire in Mzimba District that destroyed property estimated above K200 million on Thursday night. n