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Thyolo Chiefs Vow to Open Goliati Market Without Vendors

Snr Chief Chimaliro Snr Chief Chimaliro - pic by Luka Beston

Traditional leaders around Goliati in Thyolo have agreed to open a K400 million newly-constructed Goliati market on 4 July 2023 even without vendors that are refusing to occupy it claiming it's not ready for use.

Senior Chief Chimaliro of the area said this is a resolution made during a stakeholder's meeting held last week which the vendors snubbed.

Chief Chimaliro argued that the current market is disturbing learning at Goliati primary school where tomato and charcoal vendors ply their businesses at the football ground and in the classroom verandas.

He said that chiefs cannot allow the projects to be halted by few individuals who already have got space to operate their businesses from at the expense of many others lacking the same.

"These vendors are our children and the committee was elected by the people. So they must listen to us. We will open the market on 4 July 2023 even without them," He vowed.

But in his reaction on Monday, Goliati market chairperson, Richard Mukota maintained that the market is incomplete as compared to seven others like Tsadzi market in Zomba, constructed under the same basket of 'More Income and Employment in Rural Areas' (MIERA) Project of KFW.

Mukota said, "we will not enter the market because out of the 79 shops, 31 are yet to be completed and that the government needed to construct a brick fence, four outside toilets, drainage system, drill a borehole and landscaping the market premise".

He has further alleged that greedy individuals want to benefit from the market project, "I have evidence, it is sad".

However, last week, Thyolo district's Director of Finance (DOF), Andrew Jaffari said most of the listed amenities are available at the market such as, solar-powered water taps, wired fence, VIP toilets, indicating that others were not part of the design.

Meanwhile, a social commentator, Willy Kambwandira has urged the district council to ensure community involvement in every project, saying this could be as a result of the country’s common challenge of imposing development on the people.

According to records, the market was handed over some six months ago and

the Thyolo district council has documented a loss of about K6 million in revenue collection.

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