Mchinji District Council loses K10 million to vendors strike

Mchinji district commissioner (DC) Bester Mandere has said the council lost about K10.5 million in revenue collection due to a vendor’s strike between September and October.

Vendors plying their trade at Mchinji market
Uncollected garbage at Mchinji Market

The strike, staged at Mchinji Town Market, lasted seven weeks to be resolved

In an interview, the DC said the lost revenue has led the council to struggle to pay employees whose salaries are drawn from the market levies.

Mandere further said the strike has paralysed provision of other services within the market.

“Locally generated revenue is very important for the council because mostly we use it to pay salaries for workers directly employed by the council. Furthermore, depending on the amount collected, we also do some projects within the markets,” he said.

According to Mandere, the council collects about K 1.5 million a week, translating to almost K10.5 million revenue lost during the strike.

Commenting on the development, Mchinji Market vice-chairperson Stambuli Khalid admitted that vendors defaulted payment of market fees, but said their action was due to misunderstandings with the council.

He said currently all market vendors have resolved to continue paying the market fee, and that should any difference arise, they will resort to dialogue.

“We disagreed with the council over provision of market services such as toilets and collection of debris. But currently we have resolved our differences.

“We thank the council for understanding us, they have now repaired our toilets and fixed water taps, and we hope they will also collect the rubbish from the dumping sight where wastes have accumulated,” said Khalid.

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