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K500 million property destroyed at Karonga District Council

By Mandy Pondani:

Property worth K500 million was destroyed in the fire that burnt down Karonga District Council office complex and town assembly offices during nationwide demonstrations on July 4 2019.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organised the demonstration to push for Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah’s resignation over the manner in which the commission handled May 21 Tripartite Election results.

Karonga District Commissioner, Emmanuel Bulukutu, confirmed the development, saying: “Crucial office equipment such as computers, furniture and documents were lost. The damage is estimated at K500 million.”

Irate protesters are suspected to have started the fire but one of the organisers, Steven Simsokwe , has dismissed the allegation.

Karonga District Council spokesperson, Isaac Mkandawire, said the council’s clients were suffering because some services had been suspended.

“In a day, we assist over 300 clients, some come for passport testimonials and deceased estates. National Registration Bureau has also been heavily affected. We are yet to identify well-wishers to house them,” Mkandawire said.

During the protests, government offices were targeted in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe and the police have arrested 68 suspects.

Homeland Security Minister, Nicholas Dausi, said they would commence legal proceedings against HRDC.

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