A Tanzanian female trader has died in the fire that swept through Lusaka’s COMESA market.

The trader identified as Kissa wison Mwakasiyah, a resident of Kanyama died due to suffocation after she attempted to salvage some goods from her shop as the fire was raging.

Both Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale and UTH Spokesperson Natalie Mashikolo confirmed the development separately.

In a ministerial statement to Parliament, Mr Mwale disclosed that over 1,500 stores at COMESA have been affected, representing 80 percent of the market.

Mr Mwale said fire started around 19:30 Hours and that the Fire Brigade was only informed around 20:30 Hours.

He said the cause of the inferno is yet to be established.

Mr Mwale refuted some reports suggesting that Ms. Mwakasiyah died after fire broke out as he was sleeping in her store.

But some sources at COMESA have disclosed that the deceased died as she was attempting to retrieve about K16,000 she had left in the store.

Other sources said Ms. Mwakasiyah is not the only victim as there is another lady who is in UTH nursing serious wounds.

And the UTH has confirmed receiving the body of the deceased around 23:00 Hours.

UTH Spokesperson Natalie Mashikolo said the hospital recorded a Brought In Dead case around 23:00 hours after suffering severe burns from the inferno.

“Her body is currently lying in UTH mortuary and has been identified by her relatives,” Ms. Mashikolo said.

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