By Tsar Don
Mzuzu flea market was, on Wednesday, clouded with emotions as traders kept on voicing their readiness to tussle with whosoever plans to disrupt their businesses.
The vendors were reacting to plans by the Mzuzu city council to remove all traders who are plying their businesses in un-designated places.
The council believes that trading in illegal places result into, among others things, poor waste management as public littering becomes an uphill task to curtail.
On the other hand, it becomes difficult for the council to collect targeted revenues when people are conducting their businesses wherever they want.
In an interview recently, the councils’ Publicist MacDonald Gondwe disclosed that plans are underway to remove all vendors from illegal places.
Hearing this, vendors on Wednesday, ranted at the council for the plans citing that they are a step towards violation of their economic rights as enshrined in the Republican construction.
Said Agness Soko: “as vendors trading outside here, we’ve learnt the plans with shock. That is evil. We struggle to make it already and it is unfortunate they want to squeeze us further.”
Added Ellen Gausi: “We’re ready to shed blood in pursuit of protecting our businesses. If the plan to kill us, let them step ahead with such evil. We’ll meet them.”
Akometsi understands that all vendors at the flea market are operating their businesses through loans they get from lending institutions.
Some repay back their loans weekly while the majority of them repay monthly at an interest rate of about 40%.
“You see?” explained Edward Jere. “Any slight disturbance leads us not to meet the dates of repaying back our loans and subsequently, those lending institutions confiscate our properties.”
The tussling between vendors and the city council over place of vending spurs back to 2014 and has been there each year with each party blaming each other of flouting procedures.
Meanwhile, some experts in town planning have faulted the city council over gross poor planning of the city.
According to the experts, all these problems are emanating from the poor planning of the city.