Lilongwe City Council (LCC) has come under fire following its decision to raise market fees from K100 to K200.
LCC has also introduced a ground rate of K5,000 per year for every business person plying trade in all city regulated markets effective November 2020.
Lilongwe Central Market Vice Chairperson, Jessie Chirwa, faulted the council for failing to provide sanitation and hygiene services to market users.
“This is not a welcome development. We are small-scale business people and what we earn is too little to be paying K200 every day.
“Additionally, we are not getting proper sanitation and hygiene services. Imagine we don’t have water and proper latrines. What is the increase for?” she said.
Other business persons, including Sanudi Jula who owns a hardware shop, said the council should have considered the fact that Malawians were grappling with effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, LCC Chief Executive Officer John Chome said the decision was factored in their current budget and implementation was initially slated for July this year.
“On the [issue of] ground rates, all persons who have built on city land are required to pay fees, hence the decision,” he said.