Malawi police, street vendors clash in Lilongwe as market fire anger traders        

Police fired teargas Friday to disperse rowdy street vendors in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe, as trouble erupted  following fire that has gutted the main market, burning billions of money in merchandise in the early morning inferno.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Fire displaced traders

Fire displaced traders

The roads leading to the Old Town were closed in the morning as vendors protested angrily over the late coming of Lilongwe City council fire fighters to put off the inferno.

The fire started at 3 am and fire figters came two hours later.

The cause of the fire is yet to be established.

The fire, according to eye-witnesses,  started from the northern part of the market allegedly from the bottle stores along the Devil Street

Shops in the Old Town remain closed as tension remain high although most police officers have now withdrawn.

Eye-witnesses said the vendors began pelting fire fighting engines.

Public Relations Officer for Lilongwe City Council, Tamara Chafunya, acknowledged that that the council’s fire fighting engines were stoned .

But she said “the time the fire engines were stoned was a second time because they left the fire scene was around three in the morning in order to refill water in the tanks.”

Home Affairs minister Grace Chiumia and police chief Lexten Kachama visited the gutted market so too some cabinet ministers.

The market comprises, amongst other sections,  fish, hardware which had electronic equipment, motor vehicle spare parts and tinsmith,   clothes where also tailors were operating from, The tight stalls’ popularly known as Mpanipani which housed merchants selling merchandise mostly from outside the country such as South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

 

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4 thoughts on “Malawi police, street vendors clash in Lilongwe as market fire anger traders        ”

  1. Kakaligo says:

    Privatize the fire fighting department, please

  2. Lest We Forget says:

    Thought Government set up a committee of Cabinet Ministers to look into the issue of market fires? So it means that was just another waste of money because they were supposed to come up with recommendations on prevention. So who is to blame here?

  3. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    Life is a learning process.
    . . . Thus from the errors of others and our own; we correct hence minimise future errors and mistakes.
    But, why is this not the case with our City Assembly’s fire Depts?
    . . . When they come, its always 5 hours late, and yet fire only needs an hour to bring down property to ashes
    . . . As if the insult of coming late is not enough, they also come with a bucketful of water; implying they would have to go back n take more. In the meantime, the fire is feasting on the property.
    . . . Is it hard to see that the Fire Depts’ Head is egregiously incompetent hence the failure to learn from past errors?
    ………………………………………………………………………..
    Nanga inu,
    . . . why not buy a mobile equipment that would tap water from the nearest port/tap possible?
    . . . . . . . . They need special kind of water, you say?
    . . . . .. . . . . . . . . Then why not buy a mobile equipment for making this special water?
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mwati ndalama anadya? This is very bad!
    Has anyone ever wondered why house insurance premiums are high in Malawi (even in absolute terms)?
    ……………..The insurance companies know that the Fire Depts in Malawi dont exist. Its just a name.
    Please equip our fire depts and send the Head n others for training. If they are ineducable, fire them! Asa!
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O

  4. John Mzunguwalira says:

    Malawians there is no orderly. Our town planners do not do there work. Go to Botswana and see how the markets looking like. Angakhale mapuloti amene tikukhala timangomanga ngati kuti kulibe ma town planners. Wina ayang’ana uku mipanda wina kutuka osatsatira ma malire. @

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