Monday, 22 August 2011

Malawi: Llongwe street vendors face tough times

Street vendors in Llongwe are facing tough times as the government seeks to gain their political support in the face of widespread civil society criticism of corruption and other malpractices. On August 17th, prior to a substantive popular demonstration which the government brutally repressed, causing 19 deaths,  government officials toured the streets, telling vendors not to participate and offering them permits and loans to aid their small businesses. However, when vendors started trading on August 18th, the police were deployed to chase them away. The Malawi Union for the Informal Sector (MUFIS) has denounced the government's manipulation of the street vendors and joined the civil society protests calling for an end to corruption and to protest the soaring cost of living. 

MUFIS members at the August 17th civil society protest march

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