Chakwera for more lasting solution on street vending in cities

President Lazarus Chakwera  has said the country  need a more lasting solution `to the issue of street vending in the cities and  announced his plan to engage councillors to resolve the matter.

Chakwera to engage councillors for clean cities

Sweeping exercises to drive vendors out of the streets and sidewalks to designated places has in recent years faced resistance in the cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre with the traders raising concern of hostility and inadequate space.

President Chakwera , in his national address Saturday night monitored on local radio stations, disclosed that over the next six months, he will host three strategic conferences with the councillors of three cities, beginning with the 27 councillors of Lilongwe City.

“Under my presidency, the city authorities will receive the support they need to serve Malawi’s citizens with excellence and turn our cities into flourishing havens of peace and prosperity, even for vendors,” the President said.

Street vending in the cities of Malawi has many faces. It provides people with cheap goods, but is also considered an eyesore and sometimes even a disguise for thieves. Especially women feel vulnerable.

Street vending first flourished under the rule of President Bakili Muluzi (1994 to 2004), who encouraged young men and women to venture into this business. He even introduced a youth loan scheme to lower the high rate of youth unemployment.

Chakwera said Malawi as a nation should bear responsibility for the mess that goes on in the country’s cities, thereby compromising hygiene, sanity and beauty.

The Malawi leader said last week, street vendors within the capital city were told by the city authorities to move their benches away from unauthorised places such as sidewalks and relocate to designated markets.

“Sadly, these running battles between city authorities and street vendors have become a yearly staple, which is clearly a sign that we need a more lasting solution to the problems our street vendors need us to solve.

“As I understand it, the street vendors feel aggrieved every time they are forcefully removed from unauthorised places, and so when it happened again…they marched to the city council to have their grievances heard,” he said.

The President commended the street vendors for marching peacefully, but also for raising such pertinent issues as the lack of space for plying their trade.

“I also commend the city authorities for encouraging the vendors to always bring their need and request for space to the council for processing rather than resorting to conducting their businesses illegally,” Chakwera said.

He said the nation cannot build a new Malawi with beautiful cities if vendors and city authorities continue to treat each other as adversaries.

It remains to be seen, however, how Chakwera’s government will deal with the vendors issue.

Among the street youth, some really are small-scale shopkeepers. Others, however, engage in criminal activities. To outsiders, the “vendors community” looks more like a set of youth gangs.

Many Malawians hope that Chakwera will prove a better president than ~his predecessor Peter Mutharika, whose impunity cost him the presidency and could not get a second term of office.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
13 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Khima
Khima
9 months ago

Minister responsible and City Council please do your job iyi sinkhani ya State President iyi..engage Vendors and brainstorm on best location where flea market can be built with all necessary facilities…one thing u should know anthu ogulisa malonda are abandoning residential markets and trading mmkati mwa city..hence increased number of vendors and no space.

Ungwelu
Ungwelu
9 months ago

Mr President, this is the right thing to do in the circumstances. Vendors and city officials have always been at loggerheads due to misunderstanding. Please talk to the vendors and hear from them. Consensus building, they say.

Concerned citizen
9 months ago

I commend the president in this regard.

I have an issue with the once young boys now young men who beg at Chichiri round about. They have done nothing wrong so far, but as parents, what are we teaching them? How do we expect them to support a family, and for their children to prosper? My request is for social welfare to do something, as this is not sustainable.

Wizaxman
Wizaxman
9 months ago

Wizaxman

Medson
Medson
9 months ago

No peaceful marching will do the same of 2019
Will sort it out these policies, I hope your government will enjoy the funny as you president did in 2019.
Demo basi only way to get rid of ur unfairness.

Phwisani
Phwisani
9 months ago

No reason to remove vendors from the streets when the same Govt is failing to remove illegal foreiners doing businesses these vendors would have been doing. Burundians, Nigerians are everywhere in villages, in towns taking up Malawian space for business and the council’s are are just watching.

Mwini muzi
9 months ago

Firstly vendors must accept that illegal vending is unacceptable. Streets are infested with flies coming from the garbage these vendors cause. All water channels in the streets are filled with garbage. You can put a beautiful strategy paper in place but if vendors don’t want to move, it becomes a useless strategy. Let’s see what happens.

Chilima
Chilima
9 months ago

Mbuli ya President inu mungobwelerera ku Ubusa

Zio ine
Zio ine
9 months ago

We have vendors in markets whose capital runs in millions yet they still want to trade from these markets instead of m9bing to shops to create space for small vendors.

New Dawn
New Dawn
9 months ago

We just need to roll up our sleeves! Start cleaning up as a Nation. Just removing the plastic and general rubbish will be a start. Not fighting or arguing.

shares
Read previous post:
UTM boost its numbers in Parliament as Karonga Nyungwe MP Ndovie joins party

UTM on Saturday officially welcomed Kenneth Ndovie, who is Member of Parliament (MP) for Karonga Nyungwe constituency,  after he dumped...

Close