Lilongwe City Council (LCC) has acknowledged that the city’s outlook is drifting into a gloomy ambience as shop owners are barricading their shops with metal sheets and burglar bars.
The shop owners are doing this to protect their property from looting emanating from recent spate of post-elections demonstrations.
LCC chief executive officer John Chome has since said the council appreciates why this development is taking place and will soon engage shop owners to see how best they can protect their property and also maintain attractive ambience of the city.
He said: “We do realise that this is a knee-jerk reaction by the business community following recent activities which have led to mobs breaking into shops and looting.
“When these unrests settle down, we are going to work with these shop owners to make them aware of the right security arrangements which shall be in line with the city’s ecstatic arrangement.”
In an interview, business operator Abel Sibale acknowledged that he was left with no choice but to revise security arrangement on his shop to ensure that his merchandise is protected from potential looting.
However, he said this has increased the cost of operation which is a strain on his lean capital. “This is a sign that as a people we are staying in fear with our own money and that is not a good development,” said Sibale.