Tit for tat! Mzuzu vendors torch City Council offices to avenge demolition of their illegal structures

In a move seen to be tit for tat, some illegal vendors Friday night torched Mzuzu City Council (MCC) Planning Offices at Mzuzu Stadium in the early hours of Saturday, a few hours after the city authorities went to demolish structures the vendors illegally constructed at Vigwagwa Market near Mzuzu Airport Friday night.

Mzuzu vendors shocked with demolition of their illegal structures in the city

Part of the damage on Mzuzu council offices

The illegal structures at Matabwa Market  put down by council – Photo Andrew Mkonda

The thugs also vandalised the mayor’s home to allegedly avenge demolition of their illegal structures in the city.

Mzuzu City Council Spokesperson, Karen Msiska, while confirming the development, said he was not yet aware of the cause of the fire, saying investigations were still underway to establish the cause.

“We were conducting a demolition exercise last night and in the course of doing that our members of staff were assaulted and one of them has been injured.

“A little while after that incident, the Planning Department at Mzuzu Stadium was on fire. Now we are still investigating the cause of that fire, the extent of damage and to see if the two do connect,” he said.

Msiska said for a long time these people (vendors) were given notice to stop plying their business at Vigwagwa Market since it is very close to the airport, but they have been ignoring the order.

However, Amos Chisonga, one of the vendors whose structure has been demolished, said the city council has never been giving them notices to vacate the place.

“We have been constructing these buildings under the supervision of the city council officials. Why did they not demolish them when we were constructing?” wondered Chisonga.

He further wondered why the city council was getting market fees from illegal vendors all along.

“The city council has really killed us. Some of us have got loans, how are we going to repay our loans now,” he said.

Mzuzu City mayor William Mkandawire has sicne said the family is in shock following the attack.

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