Mzuzu City Council has unveiled plans to own a modern shopping mall to diversify its revenue collection.
The council’s chief executive officer, Thomas Chirwa, said in an interview on Thursday plans are at an advanced stage and the council has already developed designs for the structure.
He said the council’s officials will soon be consulting people for their inputs on the designs.
The structure, which will be sitting on a one-hectare piece of land, will cover an area from Mataifa Market and an open ground opposite the facility.
Chirwa said the structure will be constructed in partnership with the private sector as the council does not have money to construct it.
He said the council already approached National Bank of Malawi, FDH Bank, FMB and Malawi Savings Bank and the financial institutions have expressed interest in the project.
Chirwa said the council will soon be suggesting the kind of partnership they can enter into.
“This is a modern shopping mall we are talking about. It is an upstairs building that will have to house as many businesses as possible.
“There are two ways of achieving this project. It is either the banks will have to look into construction and run the facility for some time to recover their money or they will have to look into construction and let us run the facility and pay back the money,” explained Chirwa on the suggested mode of partnerships.
He said the council is now planning to temporarily relocate vendors at Mataifa Market to pave the way for quick construction, adding that by June next year, the project should be on course.
“The flea market is not fully occupied. What we want is for people selling farm produce at Matabwa market to go into the flea market and the main market. Once these have been moved, the people at Mataifa will have to occupy the place at Matabwa.
“Once we are through with construction of the shopping mall, they will have to rent the rooms at the shopping mall,” said Chirwa.