14 February 2014

Malawi: BCC Plans to Summon Asian Business Community Over Street Vending

Blantyre City Council (BCC) is planning to summon Asian Business Community in a few days to come over in order to quiz them why they are allowing vendors to trade outside their shops.

The Council's decision to summon the community comes barely few days after street vending has resurfaced in the city just some weeks after the council's authority carried a joint sweeping exercise with Police that prompted vendors to move out of the streets.

Speaking to Malawi News Agency (Mana), the BCC Chief Executive Officer Ted Nandolo said the decision to summon the Asian business community comes after noticing that all vending is now being done outside the Asian business shops.

"City Council is doing its part to remove vendors but look now street vending is back just after few weeks after we chased vendors in streets.

"They are trading outside the Asians shops but the owners of the shops are not saying anything. They have the right to say no vending outside my shop but they are quiet.

"They are waiting for City Council to come and chase them yet they are trading outside their shops. This time around I am summoning them to explain why they are allowing them to do businesses at their premises," said Nandolo.

Nandolo said the exercise of chasing vendors in the street is costing the council a lot as the council spend close to K2 million to carry out the exercise jointly with the police in a week.

"We need fuel, allowances for the police officers among others. The council has many things to do with the money in the city. We cannot do the same thing with the little money we have. In fact it cannot be a good way of using the money," he added.

The city chief said it is wrong to blame city council whenever there is street vending saying even vendors themselves need to be civic educated on the importance of respecting the rule of law.

On vandalism of street lights, Nandolo said it is worrying to note that many street lights have been vandalised just few weeks since it was fixed.

He said the council needs over K30 million to fix the whole vandalised street lights in the city.

Nandolo has since reminded the public that the Blantyre city is not for BCC but rather it is for the public and urged everybody in the city to be responsible.

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