Mzuzu vendors committees suspect foul play in the fire that gutted Mzuzu Central Market and commercial buildings close to the market on Wednesday.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday, Mzuzu vendors president James Kasambara said the vendors will do all they can to trace those behind the fires.
He said it is surprising that the fire started in a section where there were no Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) lines, no restaurants and other facilities that people often suspect start fires.
Kasambara said most vendors obtain loans to run their businesses and when such incidents occur, it becomes difficult for them to repay and in the end, financial institutions grab their assets, especially, houses.
Mzuzu City member of Parliament (MP) Leonard Njikho said there is need for investigations into the cause of the fire.
He said it is high time vendors were protected from such fires.
“I am appealing to police to seriously investigate these fires. If there are people behind this, they have to be punished,” said Njikho
Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said police are yet to establish the cause of the fire and value of property damaged. He said investigations are underway.
He, however, said police have arrested three people suspected to have taken advantage of the fire to steal items.
The three have been identified as Jafet Msowoya,18 Isaac Katumbi, 27, and Ben Saula, 20. n