President Peter Mutharika has ordered an investigation into the cause of fire that gutted Lilongwe main market in Old Town a week ago, a senior government official has said.

Fire displaced traders

Fire displaced traders

Kondwani Nankhumwa, minister of local government and rural development  said this on Friday when he received a cheque of K12 million from the Chinese community to fund the reconstruction of the market.

Nankhumwa said the seven member team will also  investigate the response of the fire brigade.

“We want to establish what really happened, why the fire fighters came late, is true they did not have enough fuel and fire fighting water, what was the condition of their equipment,” said Nankhumwa.

He said the investigations would take a week.

The minister said the investigators have already started their work.

It is still not known how much has been lost in the early morning inferno but market merchants have already started constructing stalls in the market.

But the Malawi Institute of Physical Planners has condemned the reconstruction of the stalls by the merchants, saying they were supposed to move away and give the Lilongwe City Council space to plan carefully for the new market.

Vice president of th Institute Gilbert Chilinda says the stalls constructed by the people are of low quality and prone to another fire.

However, the merchants say they are constructing the stalls with close supervision of council officials and ruled out moving out.



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