Vendors who have set up their benches between Lilongwe Town Hall and Lilongwe River have sternly been warned that the city will take drastic action against them because they are breaking city bylaws of illegal settlement.
Vendors in the capital of Malawi have invaded land between Lilongwe Town Hall and Bridgeview Hotel on one side, and Lilongwe River on the other, setting up their benches as they get ready to start trading their merchandise.
The vendors claim the City Assembly allocated the piece of land to them so that they stop plying their trade along the streets.
Vendors Clyton Lawani, Denis Chikanda and Everson Chisulo, who are part of the group setting up benches at the controversial site, concurred saying the place was allocated to them by the city authorities and vendos’ chairman, a Mr Namponya.
But when asked bring the chairman for an interview, the vendors found it difficult to locate him.
For months now, the City Assembly assisted by the police has been engaged in running battles with the vendors who trade along the streets as opposed to their dedicated places.
Reacting to the news, Lilongwe City Assembly, through its Director of Commerce, Genscher Mbwabwa, said they have not allocated any place to vendors and that those preparing the land between Town Hall and Lilongwe River are doing it illegally.
“The City has not allocated any land to the vendors. We told those vendors who are selling fruits such as bananas to stop roaming in the streets and settle at Lizulu market along Old Town – City Centre Road, but apparently the others have taken advantage to take the space which they were not given,” explained Director of Commerce, Gemsley Mbwabwa.
Mbwabwa continued saying: “Most of those vendors illegally plying their trade along the streets have benches for trading at the designated markets but they say they don’t sell enough because they think they are far away from where people pass by.”
He said most of them such as second hand clothes and shoes sellers have their proper places unlike fruit sellers such as banana sellers, and that is the reason city wanted to allocate a small piece to the fruit sellers a piece of land at Lizulu market opposed Toyota Malawi, along Old Town – City Center Road.
He however admitted that the city is lacking enough space to accommodate as many sellers as possible.
“The City Assembly does not have enough space in the city but has plans to build a multi storey structure where we will accommodate many activities including markets. As of now feasibility study has been completed, we are just waiting for a final report,” disclosed Mbwabwa.
He also disclosed that the city is planning to be registering vendors for easy identification and planning purposes.
Mbwabwa said that all these developments are aimed at making Lilongwe City, being the capital city of Malawi, a better city.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :