By Erik Chiputula
With less than three weeks ahead of the May 21 tripartite polls, vendors are back on the streets of Lilongwe as City Council stops chasing vendors who plying their businesses along the streets.
The development could see some vendors, mainly those have remained in the designated market stop paying market fees to the city council.
Vendors who have gone back in the streets are those selling second hand clothes and shoes, agriculture produce, groceries and phones and related accessories.
Almost all streets of the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, from Kamuzu Procession Road, Chirambula road up to Malangalanga Road have a multitude of vendors selling all sorts of goods making it difficult for people to move on the streets or enter shops.
According to some vendors this has affected business in the Tsoka flea Market as customers are buying things along the road.
One of the vendors Justin Salanje believes this is happening because of politics especially when elections is around the corner. “You can see the low turn up of customers here. People can buy things before reaching the market and we ask ourselves that what are we doing here? We pay taxes everyday while others are selling along the streets without paying tax”
“The government is to blame for this. We know they ordered city council to stop it’s operations they think it’s a way to get more votes but I doubt because this makes us to suffer” Salanje told smash w.com
One of the customers worried about the security of road users.
“There’s no security to the road users because thieves may take advantage of the crowd along the streets.
“Another thing is about sanitation in the city, because you can do businesses everywhere that makes people to throw different things anywhere” he said
Some months ago government made strides to end Street vending but vendors in different parts of the country returned to the streets after DPP Regional Governor for North, Kenneth Sanga ordered Vendors to remain in the streets of Mzuzu.
Street vending mushroomed in Malawi when the regime of former President Bakili Muluzi liberalised the economy in the early 1990s.
Muluzi encouraged informal trading, saying it was part of his poverty eradication programme.
There was no immediate comment from the authorities.
By Erik Chiputula