Lilongwe vendors evicted from streets
The police in Lilongwe on Friday July 20 successfully chased out vendors plying trade along the streets but ugly scenes reminiscent of last year’s protests nearly reared their ugly face.
For a good time the law enforcers and the vendors engaged into running battles as some vendors refused to be relocated forcing the men in uniform to fire tear gas canisters.
Government had earlier given the vendors a July 20 ultimatum to leave the streets – a deadline largely condemned by the public as it brought memories of last year’s July 20 when 20 people were killed.
From the start it was clear that people were afraid to into town and most shops remained closed.
The police had also invaded the town as early as 6 o’clock in preparation for the relocation exercise.
“I am going back empty handed, I came here to buy shoes on wholesale but the Chinese shops are not open,” said a disgruntled woman in an interview with Zodiak.
Some unrelenting vendors were treated to a dose of teargas and baton sticks. There were also reports that one policewoman was hit with a stone on the chest.
But in the end the police successfully chased away the vendors from the streets and at a time publishing this story peace had returned in the streets of Lilongwe.
Chairperson for the vendors who is commonly known as Yela-yela was nowhere to be seen for his comment.