The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) says the proliferation of unregulated markets is a big problem which is making the country look like it is recovering from a war.
In Lilongwe, some traders have opened a market near St John’s Secondary school along the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 Road a move which is threatening the survival of the Nanjiri Market as Lilongwe residents are no longer patronising it.
It is alleged that block leaders and others have taken advantage of the situation to charge market fees from the traders.
Cama executive director John Kapito, speaking in an interview on Monday, said his body is championing campaigns to make sure that sanity is brought back in the country’s towns and cities.
“As a consumer rights body we are championing the setting up of committees to make sure that markets are not opened willy nilly because this is ticking time bomb. In Blantyre we have had meetings with assembly authorities and we will be in Lilongwe in two weeks time to make sure that we are operating on the same level,” said Kapito.
The consumer rights campaigner also advised buyers not to patronise markets that are not regulated because that is the only way business people plying their trade in such areas might be forced to leave.
“We cannot leave everything in the hands of the assemblies but we must play our part as consumers to make sure that we buy our needs from the designated markets. This country has by laws that need to be respected because if one comes today he might think that we are recovering from war,” he said.
Kapito also condemned second hand motor dealers for selling their cars at any place they deem fit for their business.
“Some car dealers are selling cars on plots belonging to other individuals and they normally resist any attempts to move them away. It is important that if one wants to open a market they should apply to the city assembly because we cannot let people sale cars anyhow,” he said.