Limbe Market runs out of space, vendors threaten to invade streets


Vendors plying their trade in Limbe Central Business Area have cited inadequate space as one of the major challenges continuing to hamper the growth of their businesses. 

Chairperson for Limbe street vendors, Hastings Samwa has disclosed to Malawi 24 that the situation has forced the majority of them to run their trade along the streets. 

“The number of vendors keeps on growing every day and has now outgrown the capacity of a free market built for us some years back. The design of the market is also not conducive for the vendors,” said Samwa. 

The chairperson reported that over 10 thousand vendors are plying their trade in Limbe.  

Samwa has therefore appealed for authorities and stakeholders to urgently intervene.  Failure to do that, Samwa has warned that the problem of street vending will keep on worsening. 

The vendors’ outcry comes after a private film, Pacific Limited, dedicated almost half the capacity of its Pacific Tower building to small-scale business operators. 

One of the officials managing the Pacific Tower, Winnex Affick has disclosed that apart from the affordable shop spaces, the six-storey tower has got a bare ground on its sixth floor where vendors can display their merchandise at as low as K500 per day. 

“The idea is to offer a platform for the small-scale business operators to do their trade at a well-secured place while at the same time offering their customers a convenient shopping environment. 

We are planning to erect an elevator at the plaza very soon so that the vendors and customers should find it easy to access the building,” said Afficks. 

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer for Blantyre City Council, Denis Chinseu has hailed the Pacific group of companies for the initiative saying it will go a long way in reducing congestion in the city. Chinseu has since urged other private investors to follow suit adding the Pacific Tower has helped to improve the out-look  Limbe township. 

Issues of street vending remain a major challenge in Malawi’s major cities.


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