If I become a dictator for one, you will bare with me, President Edgar Lungu said on return from Ethiopia this afternoon.

The President was reacting to a development where goods worth millions of kwacha were burnt in an inferno at City Market earlier today.

Police say they have not yet established the cause of the fire, adding that investigations were under way.

But on return from the African Union Heads of State summit, President Lungu described the incident as an act of sabotage.

“I do not want to pre-empt the measures we have put in place to up the game and we have done that. But I will wait to be briefed,” President Lungu said.

“If it means taking measures which are unprecedented we will do just that, some people will have to lose their rights. People who have lost their property have lost their livlihoods. So if I become a dictator for once bare with me.”

He said he would now take unprecedented measures and steps to stop the acts of hooliganism.

The President then visited City Market to see the extent of damage in the company of security and defence officers as well as Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo.

He interacted with some affected traders at the market whom he assured that government would find ways to compensate them.

“We will see how we can look into the plight of the people and compensate their loss. Please do not take the law in your hands, ubuteko nabukwata amaka [government has got powers],” said President Lungu.