Dep Minister Halima Daud engages vendors, chiefs on construction of market
By Anjoya Mwanza
Deputy Minister of Local government Halima Daud on Monday 12 October 2020 engaged chiefs and vendors who are plying business at Kapiri Market in Mchinji to consider on construction of a new market or lose the project to another area.
Daud said this in response to the action the people took in delaying the project through a court injunction they obtained five months ago.
In May this year, the Ministry laid a foundation stone marking the beginning of construction of Kapiri rural growth centre but the vendors got the court injunction claiming compensation for the structures they erected on the site.
Few weeks ago, the Ministry agreed with the concerned members that government will not demolish the already existing structures but rather construct a new market on the remaining space.
“We agreed that vendors would lift the court injunction and that the chiefs should provide another land for construction of a bus depot. We were surprised, however, that six weeks after the agreement, the vendors did not vacate the injunction.
“As of now, we are impressed that the concerned group cleared their concerns and they want the project to start as soon as possible,” said Daud highlighting that government did not want to use force to remove the people from the public land hence the consistent dialogue.
One of the concerned members, Fidas Banda said they did not vacate the injunction because they received threats that government had planned to demolish their shops as soon as they lifted the injunction.
“The coming of the deputy minister without machinery to demolish our structures shows that she really meant what she said and we assure government that we will initiate a meeting for concerned members on Tuesday and vacate the injunction by Friday this week,” he said.
Group Village Nthema said it was unfortunate that there were some disagreements among parties over the land he surrendered to government free of charge. He highlighted that it was him who gave out the land to the council for construction of a market and bus depot in 1995.
“It feels so sad that people who settled illegally on a public land were claiming for compensation to the extent of delaying a huge project which could benefit a larger population. I am now happy that we have agreed to move forward with construction of Kapiri Market which will benefit Kapiri area and Mchinji as a whole,” he said.