A cross-section of vendors in Zomba City has cried foul over People’s Party (PP) zealots’ hijacking of events during a New Year’s party which President Joyce Banda organized at the State House in the old capital.
According to one of the vendors who spoke to Nyasa Times, the Malawi President hosted the celebration party to over 3, 000 youths in the city and had invited the vendors to have an audience with her where they were expected to present their business challenges.
“We are very much concerned with what happened. We were told to send a list of vendors from the city but to our surprise, the police blocked us from entering the gates and some of us were beaten as if we were not invited.
“We were only let in after several consultations with the authorities. PP followers were too selfish to fulfill their desires at the event. It was as if it was a PP function. Worse still, most of us did not eat as we were told that the food had finished,” said the vendor who asked for his name to be shielded,
He added: “At one point the First Gentleman (retired Chief Justice Richard Banda) intervened by directing the chefs to serve food to where we sat but it was not enough to cater for many of us.”
President Banda however ordered that “everybody gets the food and goes home happily.”
Another vendor chipped in to say the vendors did not present their challenges to the President at the event.
“There was resistance from some of the PP functionaries for us to have an audience with the president. We believe that those surrounding her do not give the right picture of what problems people are facing in life.
“We are going to formally request for an audience with the President and our belief is that this time it will materialize,” he said.