Cash strapped government, which is failing to provide food for patients in public hospitals, has splashed out K20 million to vendors whose wares were gutted down by fire in two markets in Mzimba.
Over 200 vendors from Mzuzu market smiled all the way to the bank with a K7.2 million whilst 435 vendors at Matabwa market in Mzimba received K13.5 million.
However some of the recipients whilst applauding the government for the ‘compensation,’ asked for the Peter Mutharika administration to consider in future help the vendors secure loans from financial institutions instead of the one off financial handout.
Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa pledged the government would construct fire proof markets to avert market fires.
Meanwhile, Nankhumwa on Tuesday attended the burial ceremony of four of the five people who died together when they were struck by lightning in Dowa.
The five were struck by lightning when they sought shelter at a house during torrential rains.
Nankhumwa delivered a message of condolence to the bereaved families, saying the president was shocked to hear of the death. Four of the five who died were from the same family.
This brings the number of those who have died so far due to lightning since the onset of the rains to 10.
Two people, a father and a son died instantly in Dedza when they were struck by lightning when they were to their garden for farming.
Government provided coffins for the deceased in Dowa and also K100000 cash.