Mzuzu City Council has started relocating vendors who sell their merchandise on the street and other undesignated places.
The exercise follows the council’s order last week for the vendors to move to designated places by June 16 2021.
Random checks around the city yesterday established that the vendors were complying with the order.
During our visit to one of the places popularly known as Chiyaleyale, located outside the Mzuzu Main Market, we saw a police vehicle patrolling the area.
In an interview yesterday, the council’s spokesperson MacDonald Gondwe said the operation was orderly.
In contrast, similar operations in the past were marred by clashes between police officers and vendors.
Gondwe attributed the smooth operation to My Mzuzu My City Campaign, which he said has helped to change the vendors’ mindset.
“The campaign has instilled a sense of ownership. After the campaign launch on Monday, many vendors came forward to ask for space in designated areas,” he said.
Speaking to the media last week, the council’s chief executive officer Gomezgani Nyasulu said the council planned to involve Malawi Defence Force in the operation.
“We expect vendors to comply with the order and those resisting will be forced out,” he said.
In a separate interview, Find Your Feet urban governance project officer Robert Ndovie said illegal vending was a serious problem facing the city.
“We will also take up the responsibility to sensitise people to the dangers of illegal vending,” he said.
Vigwagwa Market vendors chairperson Gerald Maulana has since encouraged fellow vendors to comply with the order.