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MPs worried with rising cases of petrol arson

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs, Savel Kafwafwa, has expressed concern over an increase in arsons caused by petrol and other fuel products that results in loss of lives. 

In an interview with Nyasa Times on Thursday, Kafwafwa said as a committee they are equally concerned how people sometimes keep liquid fuel in their homes without safeguarding peoples’ lives. 

The tragedy of petrol arsons keeps increasing in the country    amid scarcity of fuel in different parts of the country. 

This week there have been a number of petrol arsons including in Mayani, Dedza where a husband and wife died after being sustained with burn injuries. And a child is battling for life at Kamuzu Central Hospital. 

Dedza Police Public Relations Officer Beatrice Jefati identified the victims as a 44-year-old man, Uladi Kumwembe and his wife Lukiya M’bwana, 32 died on 7th and 8th August 2023 respectively after sustaining body burns. 

And their daughter Alice Uladi, 2 years old, is being treated at Kamuzu Central Hospital after their house was gutted by petrol fire in Mayani, Dedza.

The accident occurred when Kumwembe was siphoning petrol from a vehicle and tried to keep it in his house  so that could share it with a colleague, who requested a favour to buy for him.

In the same District, on 27th July 29 year-old man, Chipiliro Chimkwita and his wife Fazida Chimkwita, 22, died after their house was accidentally gutted by petrol fire at Kachule Village. 

The Social and Community Welfare Parliamentary Committee Chairperson advised that the general public should understand that petrol should not be stored in places where people sleep or sit because they are highly inflammable.

Savel Kafwafwa said: “As a committee we would like to agree with the government that these fuels need to be tightly guarded, even if a vehicle has been involved in an accident or breakdown no need siphon fuel from it.”

On the other hand, Kamuzu Central Hospital has expressed concern over increasing numbers of patients with fire burns since 27 July, 2023.

In a statement, Kamuzu Central Hospital Director Dr. Jonathan Ng’oma said from 27th July, 2023 to 10th August have registered 8 cases where 5 are dead and 3 others are critically ill. 

Dr. Ng’oma has therefore advised the public to refrain from keeping fuel in the house to avoid arsons and loss of lives.

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