Truck operators unwilling to occupy new rank in Mzuzu

Truck operators in Mzuzu have declined to relocate to the newly designated place near the flea market, saying the place is too small compared to the rank they are currently using close to Mzuzu Airport at Vigwagwa Market.

Proposed truck rank at Mzuzu Flea market. Pic by   Chikumbutso Mafupah
Proposed truck rank at Mzuzu Flea market. Pic by Chikumbutso Mafupah

Mzuzu City Council’s Town Planning Officer, Yona Simwaka, said the council created the car park at the flea market for lorry operators, but up to now they are not willing to occupy the designated place.

“The place they are currently operating from is not located on a good site, and is near the aviation area.

“That place is at risk, we all know that no commercial area should be near the airport,” he cautioned.

However, commenting on the matter, Mzuzu Truck Drivers Rank Association General Secretary, Chiza Kamanga, said space at the flea market is very small and cannot accommodate all the cars.

“We do not see any other good place in the city that they can relocate us to, other than this place we are currently operating from.

“The [city] council should consider renovating the current place rather than relocating us to any other place. We are not ready to be relocated,” said Kamanga.

He said if rumours that government will relocate Mzuzu Airport to another place, then they (lorry operators) should not be moved, saying the current place is good for business.

Currently, trucks and small pick-ups for hire operate from Matabwa or Vigwagwa market, a place near Mzuzu Airport which also belongs to the Department of Civil Aviation.

This prompted Mzuzu City Council to create a new rank for lorries within the premises of the flea market where they could operate from.

The council also renovated two access roads to the flea market to enhance accessibility, one from Mzilawaingwe, and the other from Taifa Market which vehicles can use to the market.

However, the lorry operators have shown no interest to occupy the new rank despite city authorities encouraging them to do so.

Meanwhile, the city authorities have said they will use a different plan, which they have not disclosed, to relocate the truck operators to the newly designated place after seeking legal intervention from their lawyers.

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