Government stops vendor relocation

Street vendors in Lilongwe

In a dramatic turn of events, government has rescinded its decision to relocate vendors in the country’s cities and towns.

A circular addressed to all Chief Executive Officers and District Commissioners signed by Charles Kalemba secretary for LocaI Government and Rural Development dated 8th October, confirmed the development.

“I wish to advise that, due to the current political situation that the country is experiencing, the Minister has directed that the exercise of relocating vendors to designated places should be put on hold until further notice,” read the letter.

Vendors trading in Blantyre Central Business District

Months leading to the May 21 tripartite elections vendors swarmed the streets and were trading willy-nilly.

The development compromised sanitation and posed a security risk as residents and motorists had problems parking as the vendors even took up parking spaces displaying their wares in the cities.

On Monday, Blantyre City Deputy Mayor Joseph Makwinja paid a courtesy call on the vendors to plead with them to move from the side streets where they have been trading and most of them complied.

But there was mayhem in Limbe, where the vendors protested against the decision to move them from the pavements.