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Blantyre goes to ‘sleep’

STANDSTILL—Car park at Delamere House in Blantyre

Moving around Blantyre City Monday afternoon one could have been excused thinking it was Sunday—a day which is usually characterised by deserted streets, closed shops and calm.

That was the situation in the afternoon in Blantyre as people switched off and glued themselves to radio and television sets following proceedings at the Constitutional Court that ruling on the May 21 presidential election case.

Even at Kamba where there is always an endless stream of people enjoying snacks and drinks especially in the evening, you could count the number of people sitting leisurely on the verandas.

The situation was the same in the usually busy-as-bee Limbe where all streets were empty with shops sealed, only the sight of security guards assuring the presence of some sort of life.

A few firms that opened shops were forced to close early as there was just no customer in sight.

“There was not even a single customer who set foot in our shop. Some police officers also visited our premises and asked as to what we doing opening shops on such a tense day. We ended up closing the shop,” said a shop attendant.

In few recreation centres that were operational, people chatted while listening to the live proceedings. There was police presence in most of the streets.

“We have not witnessed any disturbance. It appears most people were in doors,” said a police officer in Blantyre.

However, Malawi News Agency reported that business was normal at Likoma Island whereas the situation was different in Ntcheu where shops remained closed.

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