Vendors who ply their trade in Dedza market on Thursday took to the streets to demonstrate against the decision by Dedza Council to raise market fees.
The vendors marched peacefully from ‘Msika wa Njala’ heading to the District Commissioner’s office to deliver a petition in which they had written their grievances.
In an interview, the leader of the vendors,Kaipa Khamalanga said it is unreasonable for the Council to raise fees with a huge margin.
“We are very disappointed with the manner in which the council is acting this is why we have written this petition and we have given the council 3 days to respond so that we should havea meeting with them,” he said.
According to Khamalanga, daily tickets which were at K100 are now at K150, monthly rentals for shops has been raised from K3,500 to K7,000, whereas those who were paying K5,000 will now be paying K10,000.
“And we are not happy with the decision by the Council to dismiss our committee which is elected by us so we need an explanation why they did this,” he added.
The petition was received by the Chief Accountant for Dedza Council, Davie Chimtengo who assured the vendors that he would pass it on to the DC who was going to address the issue.
In the petition, they cited unfair market fees hike, and the decision to dissolve the market committee, giving the Council three days to respond and hold a meeting with the vendors.
Chimtengo explained that the Council has been having the lowest market fees in the country which also led to it being one of the lowest in terms of revenue collection.
“We did not dissolve the market committee, but we only instructed them to elect a new one because according to the local government act, a committee is allowed a one year span, but the current one has been there for almost 3 years now,” he said.