Vendors are back in the streets of Lilongwe and Mzuzu three months after they were evicted, The Nation has learnt. Both chief executive officers of Lilongwe and Mzuzu confirmed the development in separate interviews yesterday.
The vendors in the two cities were removed in September, last year and many praised the initiative that set an example for Blantyre whose council is having problems to remove vendors from the streets.
Lilongwe chief executive officer Richard Hara admitted in an interview that the vendors are in the streets, but could not give the reasons.
“Yes, they are back in the streets, but I do not know the reasons. However, they are fewer than before. We are preparing to evict them,” said Hara, who could not say when the city will carry out the operation.
His counterpart in Mzuzu Thomas Chirwa said space inside the market forced their vendors to go back into the streets.
“The space inside the market is not enough and this forced them to go back into the streets. However, the flea market is near completion and at the end of this month or early next month it will be completed.
“This will provide more space and vendors will go there,” said Chirwa.
In Blantyre, several attempts were made to remove vendors but to no avail. Chief executive officer Ted Nandolo said there are a number of reasons the city is failing to remove the vendors.
He, however, refused to disclose them, saying he was in a meeting. But in an earlier interview, Nandolo said the duty to enforce the law was in the hands of police. He also blamed the public for buying from such vendors, saying if they were going into the market, vendors would be forced to leave the streets.