11 January 2018

Malawi: Authorities Forces Nsanje Market Vendors Out of the Premises

Nsanje — Nsanje District Council authorities have given a two day ultimatum to Nsanje Boma Market vendors to vacate the market to pave way for commencement of construction works of a new market.

Nsanje Council Chairperson Mabvuto Kamba said this in an interview Thursday saying construction works were marked to start this weekend.

He explained the Council had to come up with that tough stance after noticing that the vendors have been reluctant to move out voluntarily after being asked to.

"Enough is enough. We have been engaging the vendors so that they move out of the market premise to pave way for the contractor to start construction of new market building. However, they have been not heading to our calls as they were demanding compensations," the Chairperson charged.

Kamba observed that, "As a council, we had to put it clearly that the premises they are demanding compensation for belongs to the Council, therefore, there was no need for compensation."

In September 2017, the Council warned to use force to evict Nsanje vendors out of the district's headquarters market to pave way for a K236 Million market construction as the vendors continued to snub government's stand to demolish their structures without giving them compensation.

Senior Chief Malemia who is the main beneficiary of the project told the vendors that he does not to lose the said project to another district as he said the vendors' demand for compensation was non-starter as per land laws as they were occupying Council's premises.

"To begin with, these vendors do not own this place as it belongs to Council. Therefore, our position is that the market will be constructed on the current market site and I must emphasize that there will be no compensation for them as they are using council premises," he declared.

Now, as the two days' ultimatum is in force, some vendors have asked the Council for an extension of one month to leave the market.

The owner of Nyakamera Hardware, Isaac Nyakamera said while agreeing to move out of the market premises, the two days given to move out of the market are not enough for him to transfer his goods to another site.

"We accept to move out but the days are not enough, we would love if they could have given us a month so that we can transfer our things properly. In the past they told us that they are going to give us a place but as now we do not know where we are heading to," he suggested.

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