Business owners of Mchinji are up in arms against Chinese nationals who run shops at the border.
William Mbewe, one of the businessmen, told officials from Mchinji District Council to tell the Chinese get out of the Mchinji border trading area or else they risk facing unspecified action.
“They are not supposed to run shops here, they are supposed to be in cities and towns. They run business in cities and also run other businesses here in rural areas, which is unfair,” said Mbewe.
He said the council should close down the Chinese run shops to give chance to Malawians.
Martin Kumeta, Human Resources official at the council said the council would look into the matter.
The Chinese, alongside Burundians and Rwandans sell clothes and shoes, competing with Malawian traders.
The law, as amended in 1994, gives chance to people of other nationalities trade any where in Malawi including rural areas.
It was amended after first head of state Kamuzu Banda chased Asians away from trading in rural areas and restricted them to trade in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism on Tuesday closed 23 shops owned by foreign nationals in an inspection exercise conducted in Mchinji and Dowa districts respectively for allegedly not operating with proper documents and not in designated places.
Deputy Director responsible for Domestic Trade in the Ministry, Charity Musonzo said through the exercise the Ministry was enforcing the 2014 business licensing act which guides how non Malawians are supposed to conduct business in the country.
“We have so far closed 23 shops those especially owned by Non-Malawians in two districts here in Mchinji and Dowa at Mponera Trading centre in an exercise the Ministry has conducted in two days.
“Actually we are enforcing the business licenses in the Act which came into force in 2014 after passing of the business licensing regulations and we have found that the closed shops had no proper documents for business operations,” she said.
Musozo said according to the 2014 Act of business licensing regulations Non-Malawian business operators have their designated places in the country like among others Blantyre City Council, Lilongwe City Council, Mzuzu City Council, Zomba City Council, Luchenza Municipality Council and Kasungu Municipality Council.
“These Non-Malawians business owners have their designated places where to operate their respective businesses; so if we the ministry found a person or any business person operating outside those designated places they are supposed to move out and operate where they are supposed to operate legally in the country,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :