Dedza Council loses out on K1.5 million as vendors boycott paying market fees for 7 months

Dedza: Dedza District Council has lost about K1.5 million of uncollected market fees as vendor at Mayani Trading Centre have for the past seven months been refusing to pay market fees as a way of forcing the district council to complete construction of a new market structure.

Confirming the matter, Chairman of Development Committee at Dedza District Council, Moses Chibweza, told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that construction stalled due to underfunding of District Development Fund (DDF) projects.

We have lost about K1.5 million through the vendors’ boycott. The council agreed during a meeting held on Thursday to borrow money from another account, particularly money collected from local revenue, to complete the construction of the market, Chibweza said.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Chairman of Mayani Trading Centre Market Committee, Headson Lomiyasi, said that the council promised them a new market shelter at the trading centre but has failed to do so.

Last year council officials promised us during a meeting that they would construct new market structures. They came a few days later to say there is a change of plan and that the council would instead maintain an old market shelter. This did not please us, Lomiyasi said.

Lomiyasi continued: We protested the decision and informed them that we will stop paying market fees if they continue with the new arrangement. After discussions, they said they would construct a new market.

He said construction of the new market structure started but stalled at foundation phase. The council, according to Lomiyasi, informed them that it had run out of funds for the project and vendors resolved to stop paying market fees.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA