Mzuzu City vendors have asked President Peter Mutharika to ensure that city councils have adequate resources to root out illegal vending which has become an eyesore in the cities’streets.
The vendors made the call during their meeting with the President at the Mzuzu State Lodge yesterday.
Secretary for Mzuzu vendors, Scrivina Dzonzi, said Mutharika should intervene.
He accused Mzuzu City Council of failing to address the problem due to lack of resources.
Dzonzi said legitimate vendors who ply their trade in markets no longer make profits because street vendors have taken up the business.
He said the council is also losing out on revenue as the illegal vendors do not pay market fees.
Said Dzonzi: “The council is failing to deal with the problem due to lack of resources. We are the victims of this problem because we pay market fees everyday whereas our colleagues do not.”
In his remarks, Mutharika admitted that vendors are important for the socio-economic development of the country. He said no country can survive without vendors.
The meeting then moved into a closed-door session after the official opening one.
But in an interview later, Dzonzi said Mutharika promised to engage Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa to look into the issue of illegal vending as well as address financial challenges affecting the council.
Two weeks ago, Mzuzu City Council admitted that it had failed to root out illegal vendors in a 10-day operation that was budgeted at K5.8 million. The operation failed because the council could not remit allowances to police officers booked to assist in the exercise. n