LILONGWE -There was drama Monday afternoon in the capital Lilongwe when a group of rowdy street vendors roughed up a Lilongwe City Council employee who confiscated a box speaker belonging to renowned singer MacDonald Mlaka Maliro.
The incident occurred outside the fence of South African retailer Game Shop where the musicianâ€™s agents had mounted the speaker which they were using as public address system to woo people to buy his music CDs and DVDs.
According to eye witnesses, the City Council official, in a patrol vehicle, raided the place and ordered the team to stop selling the DVDs and CDs before impounding the speaker.
The development did not please Mlakaâ€™s men and the vendors around who immediately mobilized themselves and surrounded the Council patrol vehicle demanding an urgent release of the speaker.
â€œThe vendors became angry and started hurling abuse at the official while others busied themselves banging the vehicle as a sign of fury with the officialâ€™s conduct,â€ said an eye witness.
The vendors hinted that they love Mlaka Maliro and there was no way they could just allow his equipment being confiscated by the Council employee without them responding.
Said the eyewitness: â€œSome of the vendors claimed they like Mlaka because they earn a living through selling his music that was why they mobilized and stopped the Council official from seizing the speaker.â€
But as the situation got out of hand, Mlaka himself intervened and successfully cooled off the highly charged vendors as the Council official detestably gave back the speaker.
Street vending in Malawi is illegal and all vendors are required to conduct their businesses in designated areas provided by government.
Contacted for his comment as to why he decided to be selling his music in the streets, Mlaka downplayed the issue claiming there was a minor disagreement with the â€œguy from city council.â€
â€œIt wasnâ€™t a serious issue, there was a small problem between the vendors and guy from the city council and it was resolved amicably,â€ Mlaka said before refusing to discuss the matter further.