Vendors in Lilongwe on Sunday afternoon outclassed Malawi Police Service (MPS) in sporting activities held at the Lilongwe Community Centre ground.
The games included football, tug-of-war and netball and were organised by MPS and the Lilongwe City Council as one way of fostering good working relationship between the two groups.
Lilongwe vendors and the police have been on each otherâ€™s neck for a good part of last year because of misunderstandings over street vending.
A lone goal scored by Jonas Mbera in the 66th minute of the football match was enough for the vendors to see off the cops. In netball, the vendors lost 11-4 while, the vendors carried the day in tug-of-war.
For their overall achievement, the vendors went home K25 000 (about $100) richer whereas the cops received K20 000 (about $80) while winners in the respective categories received K10 000 (about $40) and losers K5 000 ($20).
In a interview after the games, vendorsâ€™ football coach Jack Magreta said he was impressed by the performance of all teams. He has asked for more similar activities.
“After interacting with customers in the markets, we also want to interact with the customers in sports, but there has been nothing of that sort; so we thank the council and MPS for organising these sporting activities,” said Magreta.
Lilongwe City Council chief executive officer, Kelvin Mâ€™mangisa, said the programme is the beginning of a new chapter between the police and the vendors.
“The police have said they are ready to work with vendors and the vendors have said the same, so we are just giving the two a chance to interact and establish a good working relationship,” said Mâ€™mangisa.
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police responsible for Lilongwe Urban Peter Chasweka said his office wants to establish a good relationship with the vendors which should see both sides enjoying their work.