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Mzuzu City Council loses K12 million monthly

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Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has said it is losing about K12 million monthly in three of its markets due to vendors’ reluctance to pay market fees.

The vendors stopped paying market fees some two years ago over what they termed council’s negligence to provide markets with clean water and toilets.

The three markets are Luwinga, Area 1B and St Augustine.

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This was revealed at a meeting which Find Your Feet, Church and Society Programme and Voice of Livingstonia Radio organised in Mzuzu on Wednesday.

Chairperson for St Augustine Market Austin Musitafa said the market has no toilets and water, a situation which is putting their lives in danger.

Musitafa added that, if their grievances were not addressed, they would take the council to court over negligence.

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“We cannot be staying at a place which has waste bins, no water, no toilets. If you go to Area 1B and Luwinga market, they are also facing the same challenges. The council is expecting us to pay market fee while it is failing to provide us with the proper services,” said Musitafa.

MCC Public Relations Officer MacDonald Gondwe acknowledged the challenges but said plans are underway to renovate markets.

According to Gondwe, the council, on average, loses about K400, 000 a day from the three markets.

“We, as a council, have not been correcting fees from the three markets for quite some time now because the vendors had to boycott due to some reasons such as illegal vending,” Gondwe said.

Find your Feet Project Officer Robert Ndovi said, if the council can address the issues at hand it will be able to increase its revenue base.

Find Your Feet, Church and Society Programme and Voice of Livingstonia Radio are implementing an urban governance project called Strengthening Urban Governance in Mzuzu City.

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