Lilongwe City Council on Friday demolished shops of vendors at Area 22B market in the city of Lilongwe as the city continues with its campaign of removing unplanned structures in the city but market chairman for the vendors Sanudi Wasili complained that they were not given any prior warning.
Councilor for Lilongwe South East, Elija Betha said the shops were not built according to city planning such that one individual had a huge plot while others do not have even a small space to sell their merchandise.
“A few people occupied large spaces for themselves while others had completely nothing. There is need to re-allocate the place properly by the City Assembly for equal distribution,” explained Betha.
Betha said Government want to properly design the market and equally share the spaces to many vendors including those who have been conducting their trade in Area 36 along the M1 road.
Responding to a question as to whether this was the right way of correcting the unplanned structures, the councilor said: “That is why I came quickly when I was informed that shops were being demolished and I took some representatives to meet city officials for discussions and that is why they did not continue demolishing. We will continue discussing till we reach a better conclusion.”
In his reaction to the city’s move, Area 22B market chair, Sanudi Wasili expressed shock at the city’s actions describing it as a very bad move.
“This is a very bad move considering that we were not served any notice, we just saw police vehicles and a caterpillar arriving here and started demolishing our shops, over 20 shops have been demolished,” complained Sanudi.
Speaking to LINA, many shop owners complained bitterly and advised Government that since they invested a lot of money in building the shops, it would have been wise for the city to compensate them.
The city was also conspicuously seen patrolling the heart of the city in Old Town with a heavy presence of police chasing vendors who had returned to undesignated places selling their goods after they were removed a few months ago. – LINA