Vendors plying trade in Mzuzu have boycotted payment of market fees two months after the city council raised the fees from K80 to K150 per day.

In a petition the heads of various market sections have described the April 30 fee hike as unrealistic.

The vendors also argue the decision by the Councillors is contrary to city by-laws which require thorough consultations. They also describe the hike as unjustifiable considering the city council is doing almost nothing to develop and clean the markets.

By yesterday, the vendors had rebuffed the daily tickets for four days, compelling council officials to meet with them in talks that yielded no consensus.

Mayor William Mkandawire, who met the vendors on Saturday, said the boycott was illegal and unhelpful

He indicated the council had lost nearly K1.2 million ($2 667) during the standoff

“It is ironic the vendors are crying for vital services in markets but they are not willing to fulfill their obligations by paying the fees,” said Mkandawire.

Meanwhile, the mayor has called for an emergency council meeting to take place on Tuesday.

The vendors want the market tickets to be pegged at K100 each, but the mayor said that is too low.

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