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Mzuzu vendors clarify on Peter Mutharika compensation

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Leadership of Mzuzu vendors Thursday stormed The Daily Times newsroom in Mzuzu to clarify that they did not reject President Peter Mutharika’s K7 million compensation but asked government to consider giving them loans to revive their businesses.

Mzuzu vendors president, James Kasambala, and his deputy, Gerald Maulana and secretary Franklin Hara said the earlier story that portrayed that the vendors had rejected Mutharika’s compensation sparked trouble between the traders and the authorities.

“We did not reject the money. Traditionally, we do not reject ‘condolence’ despite the amount. In fact, we are very grateful to [President Peter] Mutharika for the ‘condolence’. The money he gave us was not compensation and could not be rejected. Vendors need money,” said Kasambala as Maulana and Hara nodded in agreement.

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In his remarks, Hara urged government and other organisations to help the vendors with loans.

He said the vendors lost property worth millions of kwacha during the fire that gutted Mzuzu Market in October this year and they are still struggling to get back on their feet.

Mutharika, through Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa, last week gave K7 million to the vendors. Each vendor was expected to receive K31 000.

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The vendors, however, protested against getting the money through Mzuzu City Council but later they sobered up and agreed with the arrangement for security of the money.

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