Nkhatabay District Assembly on Sunday temporally closed the main market after chiefs mobilized vendors no to pay daily market fees due to poor sanitation.
In a phone interview with this reporter, James Msuku who plies his trade at the market said the refusal to pay market fees started on Saturday and after assembly officials failed to reach an agreement with the chiefs, they decided to close the market.
Nyasa Times understand that it all started when the Traditional Authority (TA) s Area Development Committee (ADC) came to inspect the market where they found that there are no toilets and piped water which poses a great danger
during the rainy season.
“We have been facing this problem every year and during the rainy season, we are affected by waterborne diseases a development which poses a great threat to our lives. So, even thought we pay the fees every day, the council has never come forward to construct toilets or give us clean and quality water and it was until after having a meeting with the chiefs when we saw no reason in continuing paying the market said Msuku.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Senior Group Village Head said they decided to take the action because they realized that the government has no welfare of people at heart.
Efforts to talk to talk to city officials proved futile as their phones could not be reached.Member of Parliament (MP) of Nkhatabay Central Symon Vuwa Kaunda said he is aware of the development and he is expected to have talks with the council officials.
“This is an issue which has been there for some time and we have been discussing with the council. All along, they have been saying they are going to construct toilets and provide clean water but they have been not forthcoming,” he said.
Kaunda also heaped the blame on government which he said has not started constructing a new market despite various budget allocations.