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Wednesday, 02 May 2018 12:57

Evading market fees among vendors worries Bt Council

Written by  Chilungamo Misi
Produce sale at a local market in Malawi - File Photo Produce sale at a local market in Malawi - File Photo

Blantyre, May 2, 2018: Blantyre District Council has bemoaned the continued practice of shunning market fees among vendors at Chilobwe Market, saying the malpractice is negatively affecting development in the district, hence the need for stiffer action.

Chairperson for Blantyre District Council Finance and Audit Service Committee, Councilor Jeremiah Jumbe, raised the concern during the ordinary full council meeting on Monday.

Speaking in an interview after the meeting, Jumbe said most of the business people in Chilobwe Market shun paying market fee (locally known as chiphaso), a development which he said needed urgent addressing as it affects development.

“Last year, we conducted a revenue collection campaign, that’s when we realized that in Chilobwe Market, most business people do not pay market fees. When they see a revenue collector they close down their shops until the revenue collector is gone,” said Jumbe.

He added that the District Finance and Audit Service Committee sat down and brainstormed on how they could solve the issue at Chilobwe Market, hence the awareness campaign which will involve chiefs in the area so that they can curb the malpractice.

Jumbe further said the district commissioner has assured his committee the campaign would be conducted after which, each and every business not complying with the council’s dictates will be locked down.

Blantyre District Council Chairperson, Councilor TawandaTambula bemoaned the practice, saying they have a lot of markets in Blantyre District but Chilobwe Market has become a point of concern as far as collection of revenue is concerned.

He said recently, Chilobwe Market asked for a decent toilet from the district council which was built.

The council also has a tractor which collects garbage from the market which needs money for it to run up and down.

“We have a tractor which collects waste and it needs money for fuel as well as maintenance; recently, they said they wanted toilets in the market, we built for them but they do not appreciate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

He finally said it was high time the council had tolerated such an unpatriotic behaviour and that the institution would conduct an awareness campaign on the issue before closing down all non-compliant businesses and possibly chasing them out from the market.

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