Vendors in Karonga say inadequate sanitary infrastructure at selling places in the district are the cause for their reluctance to pay market fees and ground rents as required.
Chairperson for Karonga vendor’s Main Market committee, Godwin Ng’ambi, disclosed this at a training workshop for market committees organised by Karonga District Council with funding from Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on Wednesday.
Ng’ambi was reacting to the worry expressed by Karonga District Council that some business gurus were reluctant to pay both the market fees and ground rents.
Ng’ambi said the vendors’ welfare was not seriously regarded as most of the main and satellite markets in the district have inadequate toilets, storage and water points, a development he said is creating unhealthy environment.
‘‘We expect the council to look into the welfare of vendors in the markets, but this is not effectively done.
‘‘Our markets have few toilets and water points, and sometimes the waste banks are not well served. So how does the council expect us to work in such environment? ” questioned Ng’ambi.
He, therefore, advised the district council to construct a market that is well equipped for vendors to be able to pay the market fees and ground rents in full.
In his response, director of finance for the district, Edson Zaniko, attributed the current situation to inadequate financial resources.
Zaniko added that the district council could not afford to provide all the necessities in the selling places, hence the need for the committees to help the council by encouraging vendors to pay the fees.
‘‘All the developments vendors need require a lot of money which the council cannot provide as we get that money through tax revenue,” he explained.
The workshop drew market chairpersons from Chilumba, Nyungwe, Miyombo, Songwe and Karonga central markets. The district has five fast selling market places that have big potential to raise tax revenue for the council.