Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has temporarily suspended its decision to relocate illegal vendors to Mzuzu Flea Market awaiting further engagement with stakeholders on the issue.

This was disclosed Thursday by the Chief Executive for MCC, Gomezgani Nyasulu during the council’s interface meeting with the vendors’ leadership and Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MoLGRD) Halima Daudi.

Nyasulu said there is need for the council to continue engaging various stakeholders including the vendors themselves before implementing the task.

“We have been alerting the illegal vendors for the past week that they have to be plying their businesses at the Mzuzu Flea Market starting from Monday next week but we feel we have to do more consultations before this is done, hence the temporal suspension of our decision,” said Nyasulu.

He, however, was optimistic that the vendors will comply with the decision once the consultations are exhausted and that it not the wish of the council to use force.

“Most people are becoming civilized as such we hope the vendors with MCC will reach and agree on the need for the vendors to relocate to the flea market,” he said.

In his remarks, vice president for Mzuzu urban vendors, Gerald Maulana concurred with the council saying there is nowhere in the world where business is plied along the streets.

“Of late we have witnessed waste being dumped everywhere, making the city dirty and we attribute this unfortunate development to these street vendors,” said Maulana.

Maulana, however, expressed concern that the vendors’ leadership was not consulted when the council was constructing the flea market.

He said vendors feel that the flea market was constructed at a place which is not conducive for business as it’s away from buyers and that thieves frequent the area because it’s isolated.

“Besides this, lack of coordination amongst stakeholders such as councilors, the council’s executive, police, MoLGRD and political interference in managing vendors has been a challenge for us. Since we are opening a new chapter under a new government, we feel this will be sorted out amicably,” he said.

Maulana said the deserted flea market has no toilets, water and electricity and appealed to the council to consider providing such utilities to the facility.

In her remarks, Daudi appealed to the vendors’ leadership to work together with the council and other stakeholders to ensure that the flea market is occupied.

“Government invested a lot of money in constructing this market as such it’s better that we should utilize it,” said Daudi.

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