Mzuzu City Main Market committee has asked Mzuzu City Council (MCC) to address illegal vending which has been a thorny issue for the past two years.
The committee says it is high time the council started outlawing street vending as it poses an advantage to some vendors who ply their trade in designated markets.
Chairperson of the committee, James Kasambala, Monday told Malawi News Agency that previously, the council was failing to flush out illegal vendors due to alleged political pressure as the country was preparing for the May 21 tripartite elections.
Kasambala alleged that some politicians advised the council officials not to drive out the vendors fearing that the move would have negative effects on the said politicians’ actions.
“Now that the campaign period is over and that people have elected their leaders, we need the council to flex its muscles to drive out these illegal vendors.
“We do not want to see them again in the streets but rather they should go to designated markets which government through the MCC constructed,” said Kasambala.
He further explained that it is close to three months since MCC stopped collecting market levies from its main market as vendors inside were refusing to pay market fees considering that the illegal vendors were not paying the same.
“We feel it is very unfair for the council to be failing to collect levies as you might be aware that the council is rocked in deep financial problems.
“We believe that if all the vendors are located in designated markets, the council would be collecting a lot of money to cushion its financial woes,” said Kasambala.
Speaking in a separate interview, MCC spokesperson, McDonald Gondwe said the council did not stop chasing the illegal vendors from plying their trade in undesignated places.
He said efforts to drive away the illegal vendors were hampered by logistical and financial constraints the council is currently facing.
“MCC has at no any point stopped driving out these illegal vendors, the only thing that have been affecting our patrols was logistical in nature as you know we do not necessarily do this job alone, we work with other partners such as Malawi Police Services,” said Gondwe.