Police strategizing on taking out street vendors

Police say they have put in place proper procedures as they prepare to embark on taking out vendors who are plying their trade in undesignated places particularly in the streets of Lilongwe city.

Over the last weeks, police in conjunction with officials from the Lilongwe City Council have been holding a number of consultative meetings with representatives of Lilongwe Vendors Association to find means on how best they could address the issue.

A few months ago street vendors in Lilongwe engaged police and city officials in running battles as authorities confiscated assorted merchandises from those trading in undesignated areas.

Disorder has returned to the country’s main cities as vendors have started selling their products along the main streets particularly during knocking off hours.

Vending in Lilongwe: Will soon be in designated market areas

But Police Spokesperson for the Central Region, John Namalenga, said the meetings involved the three parties have been beneficial and soon vendors would be removed from all undesignated areas on mutual understanding.

“We have been in talks with both the vendors who sell their goods inside the markets and those that sell along the streets to see how best we can resolve this matter for everyone to be happy and
satisfied,” said Namalenga.

Chairperson of Lilongwe Vendors Association James Yelayela said :“Since these vendors went back to selling their goods along the streets it has not been easy for those of us who trade inside the flea market. Customers just buy along the streets off they go instead of entering the designated selling points which are the markets.

“This has really affected our businesses as the situation cause us earn very little profit yet we pay heavy city rates unlike those who sell in undesignated areas.”

Yelayela however said he was happy with the police’s approach in resolving the matter amicably and “we are hopeful that street vending will once again come to an end.”

Recently, Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Mmangisa assured the public the matter will be dealt with soon to ease increasing cases of stealing along the streets.

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