Sunday, 16 December 2007


Zesco United Football club have this time around kissed the dust after failing to clinch their fourth cup victory in 2007. This Team hailing from Zambia's mining town of Ndola on the Copperbelt has put such a splendid performance this year by way of securing three local cup titles to their name. The three tiles are the BP cup, Coca-cola Cup and the Local Premier League, KCM (Konkola Copper Mines sponsored).
On Saturday December 15, 2007, I had the pleasure of seeing Zesco go down to Red Arrows, who are being sponsored by the Zambia Air Force.
Although I support neither Zesco nor Red Arrows, I think Red Arrows was a better side after all.
The two teams were at par after each scoring two goals in 90 minutes. This led to post match penalties but Red Arrows proved too good for Zesco. Even international play maker Rainford Kalaba seemed to be no where on the pitch.

CAPTION-Zesco’s Jonas Sakuwaha tumbles to the ground as Red Arrows’ Joseph Zimba goes away with the ball during the Mosi Cup final match played at Mkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday December 15, 2007. Red Arrows won 3-2 on post-match penalties.

MOSI CUP-Rodgers Kamwandi and Banda Stanley at par.

Red Arrows’ Stanley Banda and Zesco’s Rodgers Kamwandi at par during the Mosi Cup final match played at Mkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on December 15, 2007. Red Arrows won 3-2 on post-match penalties.

Rodgers Kamwandi blocks Staley Banda.

Zesco’s Rodgers Kamwandi blocks Red Arrows’ Stanley Banda during the Mosi Cup final match played at Mkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on December 15, 2007. Red Arrows won 3-2 on post-match penalties.

Kunda Mushota butts Simon Lupiya

Zesco’s Kunda Mushota (left) butts Red Arrows’ Simon Lupiya on the head during the Mosi Cup final match played at Mkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on December 15, 2007. Red Arrows won 3-2 on post-match penalties. Picture By RICHARD MULONGA.

Friday, 7 December 2007


GOODS worth millions of Kwacha were lost when fire swept through the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) flea market in Lusaka on Thursday night.
Some of the burnt goods included textile products, cellular phones, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and food items.
According to eye-witnesses, the fire started around 19:00 hours from a suspected electric fault.
When I rushed to the market, I found scores of marketeers trying to rescue their property from the raging flames.
Many marketeers who could not save their goods from the fire wailed uncontrollably as they watched the timber-constructed structures transform into ashes.
There was also a flurry of armed police officers who were protecting the burning goods from thieves. The police had surrounded the market.
There was commotion because marketeers jostled to save their goods from the burning shops. Thieves also wanted to take the opportunity to steal but the police kept running after those embezzling other people’s property.
Efforts by the Lusaka fire station personnel to quench the fire proved inadequate once again because their low water pressure engines went dry so rapidly.
But even with re-enforcement from the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and National Airport Corporation (NAC) fire engines, the flames that had engulfed a better part of at the flea market by 23:00 hours proved hard to put out.
At about midnight, the fire remained uncontrolled and the ZAF and NAC engine had not returned after going to refill the water tanks.
At this point, the police cordoned off the burning market to prevent pilferage and any possible danger because most shop owners were attempting to top the fire using bare hands.
Take a look at some of the images from the inferno.

It was such a conforting move for the stall owners to see the National Airports Corporation engine blow out the water after all the hussle.


The scene at Comesa market was not short of drama. This fire engine from the National Airports Corpration could not spill out its water contents almost ten minutes after it arrived. Why?? No one knows, but all that we could was the crew fidgiting with the hoses and hearing the raving engine. People were glad that it finally spilled out the water, though not adequate.
For me, its that the engine is not serviced and something must have ceased inside.


The Zambia Air Force fire crew re-inforced their ill-equipped counterparts from Lusaka City Council but that action did not do much to stop the fire. This fire engine ran dry so quickly and the difference it made almost amounted to nothing. What amazed at some point was that, it took over an hour for this engine to coma back from the water collection point after going to refill. Is this efficiency or is this crew prepared for such an emergency?


This is part of the crowd that was blocked from entering the market. These people had only to watch from a distance when their market and its structures was crumbling into ashes.


This is Mr Greenwell Ng'uni. He is the police for Lusaka district. He was at the scene, making sure that all the police officers did their work. He was issuing orders. It was a tough time for the police because there were also many people hovering around the market, trying to get an opportunity to grab something from the burning shops. I was told a number of such people were arrested.


It was not only women who cried like babies. Even men too!!
This man, who spoke mostly in swahili could not help holding back his tears. He must have lost millions of Kwacha (the Zambian currency) in that makeshift shop. He arrived at the scene only to find it collapsing and everything was gone.


These people seem to be asking for devine intervention to stop the fire. The horde of marketeers were left helpless, watching the fire burning their goods because the local fire crew could not manage to stop the inferno.
The flames were quite fearce and raging.

Woman wailing

This woman continued to wail for a better part of the night while the market was being reduced to ashes.

I found scores of people wailing and crying uncontrollably like babies after they realised that their goods, which is a source of livelihood has been reduced to ashes.
I found this woman wailing on top of her voice and there was no one's shoulder to lean on because everyone needed the same pillar of strength.

The Comesa market on fire.

This part of the market on fire. Some of the marketeers trying to get some pictures from their mobile phones after helplessly failing to quench the flames.