Vendors in and around Ndirande Main Market in the commercial city of Blantyre have given Blantyre City Council officials seven days ultimatum to provide them with necessary amenities like electricity, water supply and toilets failing which they will stop paying market fees.
Chairperson of the market, Chancy Widoni, told Nyasa Times that every time his committee visits the city council on the matter it has been referred from one office to another.
“Since the market was gutted by the fire five years ago, the market has been operating without necessary amenities like electricity, water supply and toilets. This is making it difficult for the vendors to comply to some hygienic principles,” said Widoni
According to Widoni who trade in construction material, there are over 6,000 business men and women in the market against five toilets.
“We made effort to meet the Chief Executive on the issue but he referred us to Director of Town Planning but when we met him he only said will look into the problem and see the way forward but the only progress we see here is the erection of sheds which are now lasting four years without completion,” he said.
Widoni wondered why the city authorities are failing to renovate the market while they collect market fees on daily basis.
“You know the market collector go through bench after bench collecting money what does this money do? In addition to that we just hear from the papers that there is a Local Development Fund (LDF) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF), where does this money go?” he queried.
There was no immediate comment from Blantyre City officials to the Ndirande vendors’ ultimatum.