A TRADER at Buseko market in Lusaka Mr Emmanuel Phiri has lost goods worth more than K16,000 after an inferno swept through his container in the early hours of yesterday.
Mr Phiri who could not hold back his emotions said that he was alerted by his workers when a fire suspected to have been started by a burning ZESCO cable after a heavy downpour engulfed his container.
“I was phoned by my workers that one of my containers at Buseko market had caught fire. I immediately rushed there and called ZESCO but there was no response and that’s how we then called the Lusaka City Council Fire Brigade who came after an hour and couldn’t salvage anything,” said Mr Phiri
He said though the cause of the fire had not yet been established, people he found at the scene told him that it came from a ZESCO pole above his container which started to burn after a heavy downpour.
The ZESCO pole which was burnt halfway fell on top of the container as a result of the heavy rains being experienced in most parts of the country.
“They just told me that the fire came from the ZESCO power line cables and that they equally do not know how it started,” he said.
And Mr Phiri said it will be very difficult for him to raise money to replace his lost goods because they were not insured.
Meanwhile traders found at the scene said ZESCO should revisit its wiring system at the market which they suspected was faulty. A makerteer who declined to be named said lives would be lost because even the ZESCO emergency number was not reliable because they took time to respond to emergencies especially during holidays.
“ZESCO takes long to respond to emergencies and sometimes they don’t come at all especially during holidays. We might lose lives in the near future,” said the trader.