Rumphi council irks market vendors on shoddy security, deplorable drainage system

Members of Rumphi Boma main market committee have expressed their displeasure with the district council’s failure to recruit additional security staff, following a spate of thefts at the market.

Rumphi main market members. Pic by Elias Nyirenda, Nyasa Times

The members expressed their displeasure during a market committee meeting held at the boma on Monday which was called to take stock on the progress made on improving the market structures.

Speaking during the meetingmarket committee Chairperson Manase Mhango said there has been a series of thefts within the market which he blamed on3 inadequate security personnel and a lack.

He said during the period November 2016 to February 2017 the market has lost properties including 96 tins of maize valued over K500, 000.

Mhango said during an interface meeting held on November 10 2016, the council Secretariat pledged to add two more watchmen, rehabilitate the market’s drainage system and fix security lights.

“Three months down the line and nothing has happened. Properties continue to missing in the market due to inadequate security personnel,” he said.

Rumphi boma main market has three security officers and no security lights.

Concurring, Muyanga Soko urged the council to fix the drainage issues noting that the water that is clogging inside the market is hazardous and could be a recipe for waterborne diseases especially now with the rainy season.

Life Concern Organization (Lico) is implementing a 15 months project called Vyatose with financial support from Tilitose Fund. The project aims at improving transparency and accountability in markets targeting the locally generated resources within the four markets of Rumphi, Bolero, Hewe and Lura.

The projects therefore promotes active participation of the business community and other citizens in the management of funds generated within the named markets

And speaking in a separate interview Rumphi District Council Director of Finance (Dof) Musandide Misinjo said the council is aware of the problems prevalent at the main market.

He said the council could not recruit additional security personnel now as that expenditure would be outside the 2016/17 financial year budget hence would raise audit queries.

“However, the council, depending on the availability of finance would consider the recruiting additional watchmen in the 2017/18 financial year budget plans,” he said.

On the security lights, the Dof said the council identified a contractor who has since finished installing the security lights gadgets. What remains now is for the council to clear out an outstanding arrears with the electricity utility provider-ESCOM.

The council’s Director of Public Works Allan Chitete blamed the lack of proper drainage system on poor planning saying the initial market design had no drainage.

However he said his office is working on improving the improvised drainage system so that is able to carry water out of the market.

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