Democratic Progressive Party aspirant Member of Parliament for Blantyre City East Constituency, Alex Chimwala, and Limbe Central Ward aspiring councilor, Gerald Lipikwe, on Saturday swept the surroundings of Limbe Business area.
The hopefuls led the vendors plying their trade within the area and some well-wishers in cleaning the surroundings so that the environment should be conducive for trade.
When asked of the main reason why they decided to do the Corporate Social Responsibility, Chimwala told faceofmalawi that the overall reason was to make the city clean to avoid waterborne diseases that may come since we are in a rainy season.
“You know vendors are the indigenous of this city. So the whole idea is that you know this is a rainy season and we always have cases of cholera and other diseases. So we are trying to make sure that we clean our surroundings so that we avoid such diseases so as to have a clean surrounding where we can sell our goods safely,” Chimwala said.
Chimwala also said during a meeting the vendors were asked to present the problems they are facing, and they complained that there is no enough land to accommodate all vendors in the area.
On the issue, Chimwala said: “The land is not enough. Most of the land has been sold to developers. The developers are not indigenous Malawians. We don’t know where Malawians will sell their commodities. But as soon as we are elected to go into parliament and go to the council, we will have the powers to have a stop order. But right now as the son of the professor Peter Mutharika I will ask the professor that we should have an investigation on the land issue because we have a great problem in this city.
“You go to Limbe clinic you will find out that the whole land surrounding the clinic has been sold. Limbe clinic cannot expand developmental wise in the sense that it can be transformed into a good hospital. So land is the major issue to the ones doing business here.
“So there should be a stop order, and in the interim the government should investigate on what is happening with the land.
The aspirant also said the vendors were complaining on the issue to do with the shunning of the vendors from the newly constructed market place in Limbe.
In response to the issue, Chimwala said: “This issue is a concern. We discussed with the vendors and I understood their worry. The problem is that those benches were raised up, and the Kaunjika women were told to go into the benches. But it was impossible to sell on the benches. So we will first have a concrete, a flat area. If we can bring the women on the concrete they will accept. So that’s the solution.
When asked for assurance as to whether they will really walk the talk, Chimwala said: “I was born here. This is my home and most of the people here are my relatives. Being my relatives it’s a concern to me that this place is not developing. They are suffering, their suffering is my suffering. The pain they are facing is the same am facing. I cannot run away from them. I will make sure this place is developed.”
The Chairman of Limbe vendors, Donald Mpasu, confirmed that they really talked to the Chimwala and Lipikwe on the matter, and he was thankful for their visit.
“Their visit has pleased us because the place was so dirty. The City cleaners do clean the surroundings but not in a satisfactory manner. So we are happy because they know we need a healthy environment.
“If we sell in a clean environment we attract customers since everybody needs products or things that are well taken care of.
“And we also told them about the place. It is too small to accommodate a good number of us. So we asked for an extra site where some of us can go and settle and do our business freely.
Meanwhile, in the constituency Chimwala faces stiff competition from independent John Bande and United Transformation Movement’s Bon Kalindo.