At a time district councils are failing to generate revenue, details have emerged that vendors in Dwambazi Market in Nkhotakota have refused, for two years, to pay market fees due to the poor state of the market.
The market, which caters for more 1 000 people from nearby areas, is also patronised by traders and buyers from as far as Nkhata Bay and Mzimba districts.
In 2015, the district council began constructing a market shelter worth K10 million with funding from the District Development Fund (DDF), but work stalled a few months later.
A visit to the site on Friday, established that the shelter was left at foundation level, with no sign that construction works would restart anytime soon.
In response to the poor state of the market, vendors have rejected calls for payment of K3 000 monthly fees.
In an interview on Friday, a vendor Sellah Shaba said they would only resume remitting the fees when the market is renovated.
“The project started in 2015, and it is yet to be completed. They demolished our makeshift stalls. So, we don’t have a structured market and they want us to pay market fees?” she asked.
Shaba accused council authorities of failing to improve sanitation in the market, noting that the drainage system is blocked and there is no proper disposal of garbage.
Market supervisor Alick Mastala yesterday said the council plans to address the vendors’ grievances, but he could not be drawn to give a time frame for the same.
Meanwhile, some council employees have gone without pay for more than eight months, a development the council has attributed to insufficient revenue generation from its markets.