Chairperson for vendors at Zomba Flea Market Joseph Zuze has been arrested by Malawi Police for alleged obstruction of duty when city council officials wanted to relocate vendors plying their trade outside the market.
Zomba City Council (ZCC) started the relocation exercise on Monday morning with a dialogue approach to the vendors who were selling their merchandise outside the designated market.
According to eyewitnesses, Zuze came out of the market and protested the move.
“He demanded the officials to first remove vendors who sell goods on behalf of Asians outside their shops before relocating others to the Flea Market,” said one of the eyewitnesses.
The sources told Nyasa Times that the words did not go down well with the city council officials who were accompanied by the police and they arrested him.
Eventually, the vendors were relocated to the designated Flea Market but Zuze is still in police custody awaiting bail.
But members of the vendors committee are reluctant to have Zuze released on police bail and have opted for a court bail on Tuesday.
The Peter Mutharika (APM) administration is on a clean-up campaign in cities where vendors in Lilongwe and Blantyre have already been relocated to their designated places.
In most instances, vendors have argued of limited space in Flea Markets, a development which
forces them to sell their merchandise outside or in the streets.