Nsanje boma residents risk losing market project

Residents around Nsanje boma risk losing a Market project government intends to construct because vendors are making unrealistic compensation demands.

Traders at Nsanje Boma market

Confirming the development Wednesday, Nsanje district Council Chairperson, Mabvuto Kamba said the Ministry of local government has since written the council to act swiftly to convincing the vendors to pave way for the commencement of the project.

He said the ministry’s communication advises the council to convince the vendors to allow construction works to start without unrealistic demands for compensation and if the vendors remain adamant, the council should look for alternative site for the project away from the boma.

“We are in a fix as government wants this done within the shortest possible time or else the project would be moved to another area or district,” Kamba said.

The ministry’s move has forced the council to form a taskforce which includes Senior Chief Malemia to look into the matter with urgency. Coincidentally, Nsanje boma falls within Chief Malemia’s jurisdiction.

But reports in Nsanje are rife that should the vendors remain adamant, the project will be shifted to Traditional Authority (T/A) Tengani.

“If the task force team and the vendors fail to reach a consensus, the funds for the project will be channeled towards the expansion of Tengani market project,” explained Kamba.

Nsanje market vendors through their association are protesting what they call unfair distribution of compensation to the affected individuals saying the system the council used to value the property favored some officials from the council who ply their business in the market.

The vendors allege that some council members who own shops in the market gave themselves huge compensation despite owning poor structures at the market, the allegations Kamba described as untrue.

The vendors have since petitioned the District Commissioner’s office to conduct a fresh valuation of the property in the market to ensure fairness when giving out compensation.

“If this exercise is not done, we will not budge. We will continue plying our businesses normally,” argued the vendors.

District Commissioner (DC) for Nsanje, Gift Rapozo said the council would continue to engage the vendors to find the amicable way of resolving the matter quickly adding apart from boosting revenue collection; the new facility will change the face of the boma.

Local Development Fund (LDF) is funding the project.

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Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
6 years ago

There cannot be smoke without fire. That some council members owning shops in the market have pocketed huge compensation could be true. During the construction of the railway track from Mwanza all the way to Nkaya in Balaka, local Malawians who had their land expropriated to pave way for the project were paid amounts that did tally with the land or properties they lost. Much of it went into the pockets of the officials that were disbursing the funds. A similar scenario is in the making on the Nsanje Market Project compensation. The vendors are not fools. Nsanje District Council… Read more »

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