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Vendors demonstrate against planed demonstrations

By Rebecca Chimjeka:

Demonstrations

Vendors in Lilongwe Wednesday demonstrated against Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC)- planned demonstrations, saying protests have led to loss of business.

HRDC leaders this week announced that they had postponed the demonstrations from Tuesday to Thursday so that people from districts that have not been participating in the activity could be part of the anti-Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah campaign.

Speaking after delivering the petition to council leaders, one of the vendors, Gabriel Mpezeni, said their right to engage in economic activity was being violated.

“We are failing to freely engage in business. At the end of the day, we need to feed our families,” he said.

In the petition, the vendors complain that some demonstrators take advantage of the demonstrations to vandalise private and public property.

Speaking after receiving the petition, Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive Officer, John Chome, said: “We will be looking into the issue.”

However, after the demonstrations, the vendors were seen being ferried in vehicles to their respective areas of residence.

Meanwhile, HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo has said the vendors’ action will not thwart their plans to demonstrate.

“In fact, we will deliver a petition to the State House as planned,” Mtambo said.

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