As Mzuzu City Council (MCC) is set to increase its market fees on 1st July, 2017, vendors have vowed not to comply unless the council stops all illegal vending in the city.
“We have agreed with the council’s decision to increase the market fee but our compliance will be effective when the council completely remove illegal vendors from the streets as agreed during our last meeting with council’s officials,” Mzuzu Vendors Chairman, James Kasambala, told Malawi News Agency (Mana).
MCC has been straggling to remove illegal vendors from the streets, a situation which prompted vendors in the council’s markets to stop paying market fees in May.
“They should first remove all vendors who shun paying the market fee by trading outside the market. That is when we will start paying the new fees,” he said.
However, MCC’s Public Relations Officer, Karen Msiska, said MCC in conjunction with Mzuzu Police will soon deploy police officers in an operation to finally remove illegal vendors from undesignated places and streets.
“Regardless of outstanding issues of Illegal Street vending, it is about time the council raised the fees. The last time we revised market fees was in 2014. We are now increasing the fee in the main market from K130 to K150 and from K150 to K200 in the hardware market,” said the Msiska.
Msiska said the council is still negotiating with the vendors to comply with the fee increase which will allow the council to provide better services to market users such as collecting wastes to a dump site which is about nine kilometers from the central business district.