Malawi Police, vendors clash: First Lady school torched in Lilongwe

Heavily armed officers from Malawi Police Service on Monday morning descended into the Lilongwe roads which were the beehive of street vending, torching their stalls in the process.

All vendors are being encouraged to move off the streets to official flea markets.

 Calm was restored after clashes between police and illegal street vendors on the streets of the Malawi capital Lilongwe.

Calm was restored after clashes between police and illegal street vendors on the streets of the Malawi capital Lilongwe.

Police had to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of vendors who went on an angry rampage after their stalls were dismantled.

Lilongwe Police Publicist Sub Inspector Kingsley Dandaula said the exercise is aimed at flashing out all illegal vendors.

At St John’s vendor’s hub, the security officials in conjunction with Lilongwe City Council personnel burnt down all the stalls to the displeasure of the traders who argued that they have lost a lot of property.

Vendors regrouped themselves with stones and tyres which they used to burn and barricaded the main road M1.

But in Area 2, Kamuzu Procession Road, the vendors moved out from the streets without much resistance.

Calm was restored only after the army was called in.

Meanwhile, irate vendors set the school belonging to First Lady Gertrude Mutharika ablaze in Lilongwe Area 36.

Police routinely move on Lilongwe’s informal traders, who complain that their designated flea market is too far away and often set up their stalls in the busy streets of the central business district.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated 75% of the population living on less than $1 (60p) a day.

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67 thoughts on “Malawi Police, vendors clash: First Lady school torched in Lilongwe”

  1. Barton Chikaya says:

    Anthuni tiyeni timvere boma lathu. wolemba nkhaniyi akuti mavendors apite ku official flea markets, kusonyeza kuti kopita iwo kulipo kale. Tsono chochitira nkhondo ndi mapolisi ndichiyani? Apolisi, mangani anthu osamvera lamulo.

    Komanso pikitchala iyi yaulula kathu kena kamene ambiri sanali kudziwa za Lilongwe.Bwanji City Council ipeze Investor womanga nyumba za maofesi ndi zongona zija zazitali kupta mulengalenga (10 or 20 storeys).Tikatero City yathuyi idzakhala ya kumatso kwa anthu.

  2. chisoni says:

    koma mavenda akanamvetsa coz anapereka notice a city kuti aliyense achoke m miseu nanga chimene amakakamilamo ndi chani? Chisakomele mbuzi kugunda galu.

  3. Kani zimatere says:

    Ine chisoni, chabe ndi anthu ozuzika ndi zosayenera kuzuzika nazo, kundiwawa Moyo ndi anthu amene akusangala ndi zosayenera, kusangalala nazo, choncho dziko ndi la zonse tionetsetse zoyenera kupanga

  4. Mask says:

    Provide them a legalised place then…

  5. harrinyah says:

    Achita bwino amazolowera

  6. cynk says:

    umbava uchepa bwanji anthu opanda nzeru, tsono mwawathamangitsawo akadya kuti? ngati simunabeledwe muziona tsopano tonse tiyamba kukuberani olemelanu dikirani

  7. Chemjambe says:

    penapake a Malawi lets learn to love our country, we are not the only poorest nation in the world. Palibe nkhani yolemba kuti Malawi is one of the poorest nation apa, atolankhani ena kumvetsa chisoni bwanji? kodi kusauka ikhale nyimbo basi everytime you write about Malawi basi pamapeto pake “poorest country” enafe sizimatiwaza olo pang’ono mwanva.? Who doesn’t know that we have a lot of poor countries in Africa?

  8. tony kanyenda says:

    and at picture is taken in heart of Lilongwe, oh no after 50 years of independence and our capital city looks like a trading centre in dowa, look at the poor road, dust and ugly one story buildings, does Lilongwe have a city council and mayor, roads authority, town planners, school has not helped you a bit, you are all a disgrace to the country

  9. mwalakwa kuwathangitsa anthu omwe amayala malonda,iwo samabera anthu,kwao nkugulitsa malondangati ndi ukhondo nkwabwino kuthana ndi masueji omwe amaphulika tsiku ndi tsiku nkati mwa tauni,amalawi anzanga tiyeni tosiye nkhaza izi ndi nkhaza!!!!

  10. nduyankha says:

    good job it was almost impossible move around town.

  11. Nanthala says:

    Burning property is arson, and its a serious crime. Vendors in Malawi have always been treated like second class citizens, its not right, its illegal. I am looking for a lawyer willing to work pro-bono to sue the pants off this government and city council. Six Miles is outside of city boundary, what right has city council got to come and destroy people’s livelihood? City council has never serviced us, who do they think they are to tell us how to trade or where to trade? I am angry, very angry. If there is a lawyer on the forum, lets talk.

  12. GONANI says:

    The cleaning of cities makes me feel very good. it is one good thing that Bingu did too- creating thug free cities. Zero thug policy.


    Well done mwina umbava nkuchepako

  14. FUNDO MANYAMBA says:


  15. Lawrence Khwida says:

    but what is the solution?

  16. Mbwiye wofatsa says:

    Does it mean that the so called first lady knows the importance of education?If so why is she not able to advise her image to think of learners with difficulties who are suffering because their teachers are on sit in.The first day for the sit in the same day the school went ablaze its true choipa chitsata mwini.

  17. gulukunyinda says:

    Vendors harrass women. OUT OUT OUT with these savages who strip women naked just for being powerless

  18. Zidura Ntengo Undigwere says:

    Seems like IG Dzonzi, of MPS, has learned to do his job; without taking prisoners. But he’s still carrying his little bible in his pocket while on the job. Policing is not about praying; it is about enforcing the law or byelaw, sometimes brutally. This IG has taken too long to get to this point.
    Me still thinks he should be replaced. APM, are you listening?

  19. Kulira says:

    Beautify Malawi kikikikikikiki

  20. Choipa chibwerera mwini kunyagwa ma vender mwakumana nazo mapwanga well don APM cities should be clean zimene tikufuna.

  21. kadzira says:

    kuthamagitsa ma vendour its nt a solution

  22. bokoharam says:

    Reporter iwe wayenera kukhala waku kasungu, blantyre kapena ku chikhwawa eti. Timati Kamuzu Procession road osati professional road as you put it. Ndatha ine

  23. boli says:

    If School belonging to Gertu is burnt, it means Malawians are angry with Peter Mutharika’s Administration…

    Thus why Peter Mutharika run away from Lilongwe to BT

  24. pearson sadala says:

    For starters were these people warned before?

    1. Lawrence Khwida says:

      what warning? why? who does not know that street vending is illegal?

  25. Namalira says:

    Kick these vendors off the street. Most of them are thiefs, every day walking with dog chain, 6 days a week, 30 days a month. Nobody buys the chain but the guy has energy to be moving up and down with it? Amadya chani? And where does he get the money from? Godamn thieves I say, kick their butts.

  26. opportunist says:

    Burning of markets or stalls of vendors will not solve anything at all but it will just deteriorate the situation .Mark my words these vendors will be back in the street very soon since they have n ot been given any alternative .

    1. Inu says:

      My friend, do you mean that if half of the population in Malawi decide to become vendors then we should find a market place big enough to accommodate them all? Look at some of the business these guys do, do youthink that they da survive on their businesses? I do blame Bakili for bringing unlawlessness in Malawi. We seem not to care about respecting the laws of this country and Joice added fire to that unlawlessness

  27. Imwe mukana bwanji kuti Malawi is very poor? Street vendors only make our town look very filthy.Chase the vendors from the corridor/streets as they add no value to the streets of Lilongwe and other towns.

  28. Imwe mukana bwanji kuti Malawi is very poor? Street vendors only our town very filthy.Chase the vendors as they add no value to the streets of Lilongwe and other towns.

  29. M'dabwitsidwi says:

    Kod abale mungot sukulu ya a 1st lady,dzina lake nd chani ??

  30. Justin phiri says:

    Iam crying my busines which iwas runing at st John market now idont have anything becouse all my property was destroyed by city and PMF so where ican go to run my bussnes?flea markert was fully,iam not understand according to what was happened becouse in Area 36 there is no place where people can use as amarket place that is why people use this area to run their bussines ,we are many its better to give us aplace where we can go and run our bussines rather than tomantled our bussines ,every one nows this the populations is very high but the number who is working it is very low 80% we do nothing but we have families that also need surport ,ndipo timadalila tima geni pempholanga ndilakuti ife amene timachita mabussines pa st Johns atiganizire malo oti tikakhale kodi tonse tikakwana ku flea markert? Kuchoka sitikukana koma atipase malo oti tikakhale if any thing call me on 0999473001

    1. Inu says:

      I totally agree with you. We need to have well developed market places in our communities for instance in St Johns, Likuni, Area 25, area 23, Area 49 and so on. This is important because we cannot accommodate all vendors at the free market and on the other hand it will be unwise to allow vending in the streets because of many associated problems such as theft, increased number of accidents, health problems related to garbage etc

  31. Bandaranaike says:

    All the time we hear our colleagues in the police service going for training on public order management funded by donors and yet they can’t contain a bunch of vendors.

    Why involv the army all the time when the police are trained to dothis?

    The torching of Madame Gertrude Mutharika’s school was totally unnecessary and uncalled for. Someone must be punished for this.

  32. Kanyimbi says:

    Lets keep our cities clean please.

  33. Mulopwana Wa Mamwene says:

    When writing just go to the point by saying whose Civil Servants live by less than a dollar a day, as for us vendors we are better off than those working in government. So, when writing please write with enough guts about Malawian vendors and differenciate between us and those Poor Civil Servants who came to burn our stalls

  34. Joyce Banda is to blame for all this. Just like the useless Bakili, Joyce Banda was after cheap popularity from the vendors at the expense of destroying the beauty of Lilongwe. We can’t allow people to be selling thing anywhere and littering all the places with plastic carriers and food peels and plastic bottles. Bwalo la Njovu became dirty again. It’s good that Joyce lost for the good of the country.

  35. binali gama says:

    Munthu akakhala pa u president chifukwa chobera mavoti nkhani zake zimakhala chonchi nthawi zonse. Obera mavoti ndichitsiru koopsa kuposa vendor wobera ma customala mu street.
    School ya first lady aliyense akudziwa kuti ikuyenda bwino chifukwa wina anaba mavoti choncho ndibwino kuyiphwasula chifukwa idzakonzedwanso ndi ndalama zathu zomwe in the name of Beautify malawi.

  36. munyasa says:

    why army do u want to tall me the training they get is to fight its own pipo they defend….nanga atati yabuka uku akamenye nkhondo ndani…..i ask the IG to retrain his pmf guys on riot control other than calling the army as if the vendors had guns

  37. Tawadi says:

    Vendors a thorn in the eyes of every good citizen. We need clean cities & vendors are the ones making look dirty. On this issue i agree with APM 1000% But on quota & Lomweism, NO 5000%.


    You gave us a good report, but you are at it again writing things that you think. Why? Who are you trying to please?

    Anyway, @least you could have said: LET US KEEP OUR CITIES CLEAN.

  39. chiwa kogoya says:

    also me don’t understand just need somebody to school me

  40. Penu says says:

    Nanga FL ataninso pamenepa?

  41. Dowa Beast says:

    Nyapapi wayambapo simunati wina athawa basi why LL city poti tinavotera Chakwera kodi then north ikuchita bwino tigawane zigawo basi simple

  42. Isaac says:

    Conglaturations Apolisi:town Inabowelatu

  43. getrude says:

    whether you like it or not ,the statement is true,you have to accept it inorder to act on it. kkkkk malawians

  44. Sanitise malawi says:

    Well done security forces. These vendors are an eye sore in the image of the country.
    Poverty of the country can not be addressed by rallying along the road but by thinking along uplifting the beauty of our cities. Poverty strikes everybody regardless of where somebody stays.
    Let’s love our country and be proud of it.

  45. kuukukk says:

    Atola nkhani ndi amene mumanyazitsa dziko lino,nkumati ndilosaukisitsa,thats Rabish how can you put a shame in your own country,thats why Idi Amin used to feed such blank headed journalist to crocdiles bager mxiiiiiiiiiii nhlakeeeeee.Talk sense we are reading two defferent issues here.Auke Akeee aoooh.

  46. Mayor wa mzinda wa Kande mu boma la Nkhata Bay. says:

    Zoti Malawi ndi limodzi mwa dziko losauka pa dziko la pansi zikuchokanso kuti? Ndimayetsa mkunena za ma vendor ndi apolisi?

    1. Malawiana says:

      I also dont see thelink between the gist of the story and the last sentence therein. Do you mean vending is the product of living below a dollar a day? or is it that the police actions were a product of Malawi being a poor country? school us please!

  47. Ex Cop says:

    Well done Police and city official.

  48. aise says:

    Whats the relevance of the last sentence?

    1. Gema says:

      Markets and poverty are inseparable. Vendors earn a living from markets, and vending and poverty go side by side too.

      1. nellynv says:

        Keep it up. Koodos to our polisi. It has been a nightmare driving in town esp LL depot. Asabwelere choonde.

  49. kodi nkhani ndiyakuti malawi is the poorest country kapena yothamangitsa ma vendor?
    osangokamba nkhani imodzi bwanji? mxiiiiiii

  50. pooooopo says:

    Malawians, nkhaniyi ndi ya city assembly ndi vendors. Anzawo ma vendawo ku BT ndi MZ anachoka mwa ulemu koma why LL? Zimakusangalasani zachipwilikiti ndi kubelana zimachitika mu streetmu? mukalowesapo ndale guys nde muononga dziko. Mukufuna aliyense azichita zomwe akufuna? are we going to be safe? lets think guys.

  51. Mwalinyu says:

    sidwala, if there could different breeds of fools, obvious you be genetically modified fool and even yor name suggest that you a typical fool in your class. You should remember that during PP all vendors were trading all over in towns. Thas why our towns were very dirty. Is this what you want DPP to be doing? Take it from me this Vendors will be controlled, This is DPP not useless PP.

  52. wakukaya says:

    police should know the best way of approaching an action like this but mmmmmm improffesional too much plz find an alternative way these are muchly disturb but nothing to help them Gvnt should a best way of dealing with these pple as it happens during road constructions

  53. Chindazi says:

    APITE BASI KU Flea Market……. last Saturday had a chance to move around Lilongwe City without driving….. koma eeeee … I nearly stepped on the vendors items,,,,, these guys were even selling a washing machine by the road side,,,,, memory card ya nyimbo kale….. what songs..kkkkk

    And they are freely drinking masachets by the road side… kutukwana pompo……. Nonoooo ACHOKE BASI

    Who ever wants memory card ya nyimbo kale should visit the Flea Market…….

    1. Mneneli Wonyenga says:

      Andisankhirrrra KARRREEE, kikikiki!!!!

  54. che chisyano says:

    you police. you are full equiped to fight the vendors?. shame on you.

  55. Mbolo Sidwala says:

    Tgere is a problm here. Why is it that police become heavly armed mu ulamuliro wa dpp? 5 yrs iyi ikhala yowawa kwambiri. Very soon it will be the turn of ana a sukulu in running battles with the police! Tiye nazoni, ndi zimene munkafuna!

    1. Inu says:

      Why will that be the case. Any Malawian who is sensible will understand that our cities have bylaws and we all need to live according to them. Selling is restricted to designated areas. It is only Bakili and Joice, for the thought of gaining cheap popularity wanted to capitalize on street vending. Both of them did not gain from it. Let us all keep Malawi clean. It is very hard to drive in the old town because of vendors who are everywhere and they are rude and even if they hit your car they want to cause havoc. We cannot be vendors in Malawi. Just shows how shallow we are and that we are not innovative enough to come up with new ideas.

      What is needed is to strengthen the community markets in locations so that most of these vendors should move to the community markets in locations. When we need to buy something from them, we will find them there.

  56. achanguti says:

    shame Malawi wanga

  57. BULL says:

    zikugwilizana bwanji kuthamangitsidwa mu street ndi kuwotcha school? sad

  58. Wa Police says:

    Tikuthirani mphepo mavenda nonse ndipo mupita ku flea market…..we are fully equiped

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