Demos haunt councils

Local councils in Karonga and Mzuzu say their operations have been hit hard by the destruction resulting from last week’s mass protests against Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah.

By yesterday, Karonga District Council employees were still searching for alternative office space away from the main building torched by protesters last Wednesday.

Karonga District Council offices up in smoke

In an interview, the council’s spokesperson, Isaac Mkandawire, described the loss as a big blow.

He bemoaned the loss of vital documents on projects, management of deceased estate and other services.

He said: “To serve the people effectively, the council needs offices and documents. We will now have to start from scratch to source documents, furniture, computers and offices.

“The sad part is that some people who had nothing to do with the demonstrations are going to suffer the most.”

Mkandawire said that “psychologically tortured employees” sought consolation and motivation from the district commissioner and religious leaders while the council is still assessing the damage.

Mzuzu City Council spokesperson McDonald Gondwe said its engineering department is still hit hard by the loss.

Marchers attacked the department, looting computers and other props.

He said the council plans to reopen the office when assessments are over.

Meanwhile, engineering staff have relocated to another building.

Northern Region Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya said the law enforcers are still investigating the violent acts and recovering some of the loot.

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