Mzuzu Mataifa Market faces demolition
Over 1,500 businesspeople at the popular Mataifa Market in Mzuzu City face evacuation following the Mzuzu City Council’s (MCC) project to construct a state-of-the-art shopping complex at the site.
MCC Spokesperson, Karen Msiska, confirmed the development but said the project awaits this year’s national budget approval.
The council’s plans to develop the site sparked a debate in the recent full council meeting, as councillors demanded an explanation behind the delay.
However, Msiska said in interview that the delay was because the council engaged Public Private Partnership (PPP) players which blocked the project as they demanded responsible ministry to approve their agreement.
“We wrote the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government to permit us to work with PPP in order for the project to commence. However, the ministry told us that such agreements do not require the ministry’s approval as demanded by Privatisation Commission.
“Therefore, we are happy to say that we are going ahead with PPP and currently we are working on terms of reference with Privatisation Commission and thereafter we will advertise for contractors to bid,” Msiska said.
He then said the businesspeople who are selling their merchandise at Mataifa should understand that their stalls are temporal and they will be reallocated soon.
However, one of the businesspersons at the place Hamilton Mwakawinga said the council should put proper procedures on how best to reallocate them to a proposed site.
“We are not happy that they will remove us here because we know that our customers from Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and other districts come to buy clothes from Tanzania and South Africa at this market. And that relocation will affect our sales,” Mwakawinga said.
Meanwhile, the council has plans to construct a new bus depot at Dunduzu, arguing the current one is small and always congested.
Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, recently said government has factored in the 2017/18 financial plan funds for the construction of duo carriages for Lilongwe and Mzuzu cities.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues