All residents should take blame for mess in Malawi’s cities – Chakwera

President Lazarus Chakwera says all residents in Malawi’s cities, and not only vendors, should take responsibility for the mess in the country’s cities.

Street vendors in Lilongwe

Speaking in his national address on Saturday, Chakwera said everyone should accept that they are partly to blame for the disarray in the cities.

According to Chakwera, the mess in the cities include streets that are not regularly cleaned and buildings which not checked for quality.

He also mentioned lack of enforcement on zoning laws, failure to pay or collect city rates and improper disposal of waste.

The Malawi leader said all such issues cannot be blamed on street vendors only.

“We all bear responsibility for it because although we all use and need our cities in one way or another, we are not pulling together in the same direction to create for our country the kind of cities that can be said to be modern or organized of beautiful,” he said.

On lack of space for vendors to operate their businesses, Chakwera said there is a need for long lasting solution rather than the use of force to remove vendors from the streets.

According to Chakwera, vendors and councils need to stop finger pointing and work together as partners.

“We cannot succeed in turning our cities into hubs of beauty, order, efficiency and industry if business actors and state actors do not work together to create innovative solutions to the functional challenges our cities are facing,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera revealed during the national address that he will hold strategic conference with councillors of the country’s four cities, beginning with Lilongwe.

The Malawi leader said his administration wants to turn the cities into havens of peace and prosperity for all residents including vendors.