Irate Kanyama residents have damaged a Lusaka City Council (LCC) fire truck after accusing fire fighters of causing load shedding in the area.

In a statement, Monday, LCC public relations manager George Sichimba narrated that the fracas began when a concerned resident called for help when one of the houses caught fire.

“The Lusaka City Council is saddened by the damage to one of its fire trucks by some Kanyama residents last night. The incident happened when fire fighters went to Kanyama’s Shula area to quench the reported fire. The fire brigade received a phone call around 22:00 hours from a concerned resident that one of the houses in the area was on fire. The fire truck and a team of fire fighters was immediately dispatched to the scene, but upon arrival, it was discovered that in fact, what was on fire was the Zesco transformer. The team managed to quench the fire but no sooner than they did that residents who came to witness the incident started pelting stones at the officers and equipment,” Sichimba stated.

“The irate residents demanded that fire fighters should restore electricity supply in the area. They (residents) also accused fire fighters of contributing to the load shedding in the area. The incident resulted in the wind screen of the cabin crew of the fire truck being shattered and three fire fighters sustaining injuries. The team, however, managed to flee the scene with the help of state police.”

Sichimba, however, appealed to residents to desist from causing damage to council property, but work with the municipality to preserve its property for public good.

“LCC wishes to remind Kanyama residents in particular and Lusaka residents in general that the hostility being exhibited towards council officials on flimsy grounds during their conduct of duty is not healthy. Kanyama residents know very well that it is not within the mandate of the fire brigade to restore supply of electricity neither do they have anything to do with load shedding. The mandate of the fire brigade is to save lives and property from fire and fire-related incidences wherever and whenever duty calls. The local authority is, therefore, appealing to all Lusaka residents to refrain from acts of violence and destruction towards council officials and property. Residents should instead work with the Council to safeguard council properties for public good,” stated Sichimba.