Vendors Defy LL City Council Order to Vacate Illegal Market

Vendors Defy LL City Council Order to Vacate Illegal Market

Vendors plying their trade opposite Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) offices in Lilongwe insist they will not obey the order by the Lilongwe City Council for them to vacate the place.

0n 19 January, 2023 the council demolished the vendors’ makeshift market structures in a move to force them out, describing the market as illegal.

Mayor for the city Richard Banda said the vendors were served with notices to vacate the place on several occasions, but they could not obey hence the move to remove them forcibly.

This angered the vendors as the city council officials had been collecting K8500 kwacha from each of them in monthly market fees, and they claimed they also paid 10,000 kwacha for business registration.

Cllr Banda said the council collects revenue from business operators in the city whether operating in legal markets or not.

Now a month on, Zodiak has observed that the vendors are rebuilding their structures, with secretary for the vendors Fatuma Daudi saying the site is back as a thriving market place.

“This is the place we have chosen, and as MRA vendors, we are here to do business and we cannot move [out]. The city council should find means to allow us to ply our trade here,” she said.

Banda has told Zodiak that the council maintains its stand and will demolish the structures again.

“We told them that they should not go there and they have gone there on their own. As city council, we are not going back, we will still go there for another operation and we will impose the costs of the operation on them,” he warned.

In a letter we have seen, the city council has asked the vendors to liaise with the Director of Commerce, Trade and Industry to allocate them places in the city's legitimate market sites.

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Last modified on Monday, 06/02/2023

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