Mzimba market vendors fight over government handout


Disagreements have emerged at Mzimba Matabwa market over lack of transparency in sharing money Malawi government donated to vendors who lost their goods to fire that gutted the facility last year.

Government donated about K13 million as compensation to vendors at the market.

However, some vendors have told Malawi24 that market authorities refused to give them their share from the money without valid reasons.

They claim that the sharing of the money was marred by corruption because authorities were only giving money to their friends and relatives.

Mzimba Market Fire

Mzimba Market Fire: Caused the row.

“I haven’t benefitted from the compensation money. When I asked the chairman, he isolated me on very baseless reasons thus I wonder why,” said one vendor Samuel Munthali.

Another one, Catherine Mzumara, branded the market chairman as very corrupt and stupid for failing to share the money appropriately to all the victims.

About 20 vendors who spoke to our reporter on Friday emphasized that they have no hope in the administration of their current chairman Albert Chisiza.

“Chisiza has failed us by his betrayal. How can he snub us in sharing the spoils from government compensation? He must pay for this someday,” roared Joseph Chitaya.

Information gathered by this publication shows that those who benefited from the compensation went away with money amounting to MK 31,000 each from the K13 million government gave them.

Commenting on the matter, Chisiza, the accused market chairman, said those complaining did not follow the right procedures thus they were indeed denied any share.

He said the district council authorities advised him to demand identity cards from any vendor before giving them the compensation and because some did not comply, he could not do otherwise but snub them.

“Some people came there to benefit from the money while they are not recognized vendors. So we demanded an identity card for justice in sharing the money to reach real intended vendors,” said Chisiza.

However, some traits of hatred have been observed at the facility because some vendors are not convinced with the justifications by their market chairman.

Meanwhile, the construction of the same market is in its advanced stage such that vendors are expected to resume using their places very soon.


In a related development, the Mzimba district council says it has learnt with great concern that some vendors are plying their trade along the roads of the district. According to authorities, the practice is uncalled for because it makes the district look dirty and worse more risking the lives of vendors.

The council has since urged all vendors to go back to the market places they were given and move out of the roads.

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