Fire gutted part of Zambia’s biggest market in the nation’s capital in what the government suspected was an act of arson.
The blaze started at dawn and destroyed property worth millions of kwacha and the entire southern part of Lusaka’s City Market, one of the country’s modern markets.
No-one was killed or injured in the fire.
“Their days are numbered because the police are on their heels and they will soon be arrested,” vice-president Inonge Wina said, referring to the suspected arsonists after touring the market.
Police chief Kakoma Kanganja said in a statement that some people were planning to vandalise vital installations including bridges and power stations, thereby creating environmental hazards for the public.
The police have since offered 300,000 Zambian kwacha (32,894 dollars) for information leading to the arrest of people involved in such acts.
Police spokeswoman Esther Mwaata-Katongo said another fire gutted a charcoal market.
“We have instituted investigation in both cases and at the moment we are not ruling out any possibilities,” Mwaata-Katongo said.