Ekwendeni vendors defy gov’t on relocating to new market

Vendors at Ekwendeni market have changed their mind and say will not move to the new market .

Their decision is against an agreement they had with government in August to move to the new market after the old market was gutted down by fire.

The refusal to occupy the new market forced Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Grace Maseko to travel to the market to meet the vendors for discussions.

“We are expecting the minister of Local Government this morning,” said a member of the vendors committee on Wednesday.

Gotani Hara inspecting the market

Gotani Hara inspecting the market

The vendors were in a locked up meeting the whole Thursday afternoon and divisions erupted among them with the ordinary members turning against the committee on the decision to go to the new market.

“The vendors are accusing us in the committee saying we are forcing them to go to the new market. But that is surprising because when MP and DC came after the fire, we all agreed to go to the new market and we allocated shops for everyone and we all got keys. Why do they now say they don’t want the new market when they got keys for shops in the new market”, a member of the committee said.

One of the vendors said he suspected that his friends are refusing to relocate because they cannot transfer business charms which they usually hide under ground since the new market is cement floor.

But one of the vendors insisting on remaining in the old market said the new market is not yet complete because the road is not tarred.

His claim was shot down by the committee member who said the road is fine and water and electricity were connected.

Mmbelwa district commissioner Moses Chimphepo issued an ultimatum to the vendors to move to the new market or face drastic measures.

The ultimatum passed some days ago and no action was taken by government.

The vendors have built shops again at the old market.

Part of the new market

Part of the new market

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