Despite Blantyre City Council (BCC) warning vendors to leave the streets and shop verandas, the situation remains the same four days after the order was issued.
BCC in conjunction with vendors associations and market committees in the city was expected to complete the relocation of vendors trading outside shops and street pavements in the commercial city’s central business district by September 30 2019.
But as of yesterday, some vendors were still seen plying their trade along the streets with others still occupying spaces outside shops. Items on sale included footwear, potatoes, dried fish, fruits and vegetables.
Asked why they have defied the vacation order, one of the footwear vendors Takondwa Masina claimed that the council has inadequate space to allocate them.
“I don’t see any reason why the council wants to relocate us to Blantyre Market. Had it been we were littering the city, it would have been a valid reason,” he said.
A female tomato vendor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said vending along the street benefits some busy customers who always have limited time to go to the main market.
In an interview, BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda said the council wants to relocate street vendors voluntarily. “If vendors fail to relocate voluntarily to designated places, BCC will find other means of dealing with the issue,” he said.