By Owen Zayambika
Mchinji district council says it lost about MK10.5 million in revenue collection to an industrial action staged by vendors plying their trade at Mchinji town market between the months of September and October, 2019.
Mchinji District Commissioner, Bester Mandere told Malawi News Agency (MANA) that the lost money has made the council struggle to pay salaries for employees at the council whose salaries are drawn directly from the market levies.
Mandere further said the seven-week strike has paralyzed provision of other requisite services within the market since there is no funding.
He said the development has made the market premises filled with debris as the council has not been able to clean up the market dumping sight.
“Locally generated revenue is very important for the council because mostly we use the revenue to pay salaries for direct employees, those employed by the council unlike central government.
Furthermore, depending on the amount collected, we also do some projects within the markets,” he said.
Mandere bemoaned that at Mchinji town, a lot of wastes have accumulated which need to removed, but due to the strike are struggling to remove the garbage.
According to the district commissioner, the council on average collects about MK 1.5 million a week, translating to about Mk 10.5 million revenue lost due to the seven week strike.
Commenting on the development, Mchinji Market Vice Chairperson, Stambuli Khalid admitted to having defaulted payment of the market fee, but said their action came due to misunderstandings between the council and the market vendors.
He said currently all market vendors have resolved to continue paying the market fee, and that should any difference arise again, they will resort to dialogue unlike defaulting market levies.
“We had misunderstandings with the council over provision of market services like toilets and collection of debris which made us boycott remitting market fees. But currently we have resolved our differences.
“We thank the council for understanding us, we now have seen that they repaired our toilets and fixed water taps, and we hope they will also collect the rubbish from the dumping sight where wastes have accumulated,” said Khalid.