Vendors in Chitipa and Karonga districts have boycotted paying market fees to force their respective district councils improve on service delivery.
The two councils have been accused of being inefficient in service delivery and there have been suspicions of financial mismanagement.
The councils collect millions of kwacha from markets, but pay little attention to maintenance.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, Chitipa market chairperson Medson Mshani said the vendors have been raising concerns on various developments ,but three years have elapsed without the council looking into the issue.
Mshani said it is disappointing to have the council collect revenue from vendors but fail to provide basic needs such as security, water and toilets. He said people are risking their property and lives trading at the market.
He said there is also need for the council to have one market at the trading centre, noting the continued use of an old market is affecting business at the new market.
“We expected that all vendors will be allocated places in the new market, but some vendors are still operating at the old market. This is affecting business at the new market because the old market is well accessible,” said Mshani.
Chitipa District Council chairperson Osman Kanyika said the concerns by the business community were genuine and there is need for the council to step up efforts to improve on service delivery.
He said councillors will push for better service delivery but there is need for good coordination between the councillors and secretariat.
Karonga Youth for Justice and Development chairperson Steve Simsokwe said there is need for shake up at the Karonga District Council. He said officials are not paying attention to development activities a situation that has seen the market, depot, roads and drainage system being in a poor state.
Simsokwe said the vendors hope their decision to boycott market fees will help bring sanity in the district and already the council has started working on drainage system and other structures.
Karonga District Council chairperson Patrick Kishombe could not comment on the matter as he was engaged in a meeting.