Government Directive Spurs Street Vendor Influx in Blantyre

Invaded; the streets in Blantyre Invaded; the streets in Blantyre - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

The once serene and secure streets of Blantyre are now grappling with an overwhelming surge of street vendors, mere weeks after the government's directive allowed vendors to operate freely for a limited period of 45 days. This rapid influx has raised significant concerns regarding security and sanitation in the city.

Blantyre City Council's Director of Administration, Lytton Nkata, has acknowledged the escalating situation. However, Nkata asserts that the council is committed to adhering to the 45-day directive and plans to take necessary action once this stipulated timeframe concludes.

The genesis of this government directive stemmed from the tumultuous clashes witnessed on November 21 between unauthorized street vendors and council officials in Limbe. The aftermath of this altercation resulted in the apprehension of four individuals allegedly involved in the tense incident, leading to disruptions in business activities and substantial property damage.

As the countdown to the end of the 45-day period continues, social commentator Victor Chipofya Jnr has raised skepticism regarding the government's approach, perceiving it as a potentially politicized maneuver.

Chipofya stressed the urgency for a comprehensive reassessment of the situation at hand.

"This surge of street vendors is as a result of politicking situations by our leaders, the authorities have the capacity to deal with the situation promptly,” he said.

This surge of street vendors has not only raised security and sanitation apprehensions but has also prompted a necessity for a balanced resolution between the vendors and the local authorities.

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