By Mercy Chewe
United Party for National Development (UPND) contender in next month’s Kabushi Parliamentary by-election Mellbin Simangolwa has called for quick investigations into the fire incident at Ndola’s Kapalala Market.
Fire on Tuesday night swept through Kapalala Market – destroying goods worth thousands of kwachas from the makeshift section of the market.
The wholesale section for tomatoes, cassava, charcoal and some makeshift restaurants were affected by the fire which started around 20:00 hours on Tuesday night.
Mr Simangolwa expressed sadness that over 1000 traders have been affected by the fire and called for quick investigations into the matter.
He also promised to work with the government to help the affected traders.
“I will personally join efforts to help the affected traders and call on DMMU to quickly move in. As a Businessman I was very devastated to learn about the fire that destroyed the businesses of our people in Masala. Most in Masala are business people and this will definitely have a devastating effect on the lives of people in the area. We need to quickly find the best way possible to help our people; personally I am ready to help the government or the private sector in helping the traders. When one person in Kabushi is affected, we are all affected and together we must help” said Mr. Simangolwa.
He also proposed that a permanent structure be built at Kapalala Market in Ndola to prevent frequent fire outbreaks at the trading place.
“This is a dark day and we pray to God almighty to be with the people of Masala. That is why I am vying for the Kabushi Seat as an area member of Parliament. The Last solution is just to have a permanent structure there. A permanent structure needs to be established there and during my reign as Kabushi Member of Parliament I am looking at working on that vigorously to have our people secured so that we can have a permanent structure that will not be gutted by fire and something that will be fireproof. So, my take as a permanent solution is to have a permanent secretary,” Mr. Simangolwa said.
Kapalala Market was again gutted by fire in August, 2017.
Mr Simangolwa, the former UPND Copperbelt Information and Publicity Secretary, is seeking adoption on the ruling Party ticket in the coming Kabushi by-elections.