"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ndirande vendors apologise to Bingu

Ndirande vendors in Blantyre have swallowed their
pride and apologised to President Bingu wa Mutharika following the
torching of a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) office in the township.

Some vendors torched a DPP office on claims that they were denied money
amounting to K14 million donated by the President and some well-wishers.

Well-wishers pledged donations to the vendors after a fire gutted down
Ndirande market where they were operating from and destroyed
merchandise valued at over K140 million.

Soon after the torching of the DPP office, Mutharika announced
withdrawal of his K4 million donation to the vendors and another K10
million solicited from well-wishers by the area’s MP Gift Mwamondwe.

A group of members of Ndirande market led by Chairperson Davison Benard
wrote the President through Mwamondwe, who is also Deputy Minister of

The group that went to Mwamondwe’s house said they regretted the action taken by some hoodlums who torched the office.

“Vendors did not torch the office but some people in the township took
advantage of the situation to tarnish our image,” Benard said.

He asked the President to forgive them for the incident.

“Let me also thank the police for investigating the matter so that the truth should be established,” he said.

Mwamondwe confirmed in an interview that the said group of vendors visited him to present their petition to the President.

“The vendors realised that they had wronged me as their
parliamentarian, the President and the government as whole and that is
why they are asking for forgiveness,” Mwamondwe said.

Mwamondwe said he welcomed the move and promised to deliver the petition to the country’s First Citizen.

“It is good that justice will prevail because the police have managed
to arrest some of the suspects who are expected to appear in the court
soon,” he said.

Southern Region Police publicist Davie Chingwalu said the suspects in the incident would appear in court Friday November 14.

Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) vice president Mark Katsonga Phiri
gave the vendors K2 million while former president and opposition UDF
national chairman Bakili Muluzi donated K3 million to the vendors.

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