The curio market which displays and sells traditional artifacts and curios has been gutted by fire, leading to huge financial losses by traders.
The are reports that the fire may have been ignited by an electrical fault characteristic of Chisokone market.
The Kitwe fire brigade fruitlessly tried to extinguish the fire as an infuriated crowd threw stones at a fire truck for alleged delayed response.
Nkana Crafts Association Chairperson, Sabbus Chitambo, said in an exclusive interview with Zambia Monitor that the association was disturbed that their members had lost out on business after fire gutted the curio shelter.
Chitambo promised that the association would ensure a shelter was quickly set up to continue trading.
Most traders get their ornaments and accessories, like necklaces from Angola and Malawi among other countries, while others are locally sourced.
According to Chitambo goods worth K250,000 had been destroyed by the fire.
Copperbelt Minister, Elisha Matambo, who rushed to the scene wanted police to institute investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Matambo assured affected traders that the district administration would take stock of the destroyed property so that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) could see how the traders could be compensated.
In an interview with Zambia Monitor on Wednesday, Wesley Kalasa, a curio trader said his entire life depended on the selling of curios in the last 20 years.
“This was our survival, our livelihoods have been taken, we need help,” Kalasa said while sobbing.
He said it was unfortunate that while the fire was wreaking havoc to the store, people started stealing the merchandise.
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