Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa’s brand-new official Toyota Prado VXL, worth about K115 million at Toyota Malawi, has been burnt down to ashes following a fire which gutted part of his Area 10 residence in Lilongwe.
In an interview yesterday, Mussa from Blantyre said the vehicle had just been delivered to him on Monday this week and was gutted alongside other items in the garage which include spare parts for cars and 55 bags of cement.
While the cause of the fire has not been officially established, Mussa said he suspected the inferno started from the garage where the vehicle was parked.
He said: “We are trying to investigate the cause of the fire. So the fire started from the garage where there was a government vehicle which has been burnt to ashes.
“There were also other items in the garage then it spread to other parts [of the house]. Fortunately, the neighbours were so proactive that they rescued my belongings to safety.”
The minister said the fire had extensively damaged the garage and part of his residence, and that the Lilongwe City Council (LCC) Fire Brigade did not get there on time.
Asked on the value of the burnt government car, Mussa referred us to Toyota Malawi where we established that a duty-paid Landcruiser Toyota Prado VXL is selling at K115. 5 million ($155 000).
LCC public relations officer Tamara Chafunya said she was not aware of the fire at the minister’s house, referring us to the director of engineering services at the council whose phone numbers were out of reach.
On his part, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera asked for more time before responding on the matter.