By Africa Brief.

The Lilongwe City Council with assistance from the Malawi Police Service has been undertaking clean-up exercises in Lilongwe City in preparation for the forthcoming SADC Summit in August 2021.

It is tradition in Malawi that when preparing for visitors surroundings are cleaned up and buildings are whitewashed or painted. It is an exercise that is meant to impress the visitors.

Once the visitors are gone, you tend to revert back to the unkempt self.

This, to say the least, is a bad traditional practice.

Lilongwe City Council and all other entities preparing for the SADC Summit must be told that what is not good enough for the eyes of SADC leaders and visitors to Malawi is not good enough for the eyes of a barefoot Malawian.

This must be the very basic standard that the City Council must adopt from now on.

The rumble , some caused by them or through their negligence, that the Council managers see now because the City is going to be host to the SADC Summit must be the rumble that they see on a daily basis and remove.

Lilongwe being the Capital City of Malawi must always reflect excellence, beauty and warmth that we want visitors to Malawi to see and feel. It should be clear in the minds of City Fathers that foreign visitors to Lilongwe are a daily occurrence.

As such, Lilongwe must always be clean enough to impress every visitor that comes to the city on a daily basis, and also clean enough for all who live and work in the City.

As the Council seeks to beautify and decorate the Roundabouts, which we all know they would, could they seriously consider contracting out the decorating works to young entrepreneurs that are specialist in decorations.

It was proved beyond reasonable doubt during the recent Independence Celebrations that your Works Department is both tired and unimaginative to undertake such a task as to decorate a City.

A message for your partners, like the Malawi Police Service’s Traffic Branch and the Road Traffic Department is that the people that sell second hand clothes, vegetables, fruits and other wares, whilst walking even on the middle of the road, are not going to be a nuisance to SADC visitors only but that they are a nuisance to the everyday Malawian road users.

Not only should they be removed from the roads because of the SADC Summit, but must never be there at all. They are also a recipe for road accidents and thefts.

It is also evidently clear Lilongwe City needs several other new produce markets that would provide marketing space for vendors that currently crowd the streets, as well as decongest both the Main market and Tsoka market.

No Malawian of a minimum standard of decency and security consciousness can visit any of your City markets for lack of safety and proper organisation.

Perhaps the reason you are not aware of this is that you too do not visit the markets for their lack of safety, otherwise you could have longer put in place plans to address this.

The city must provide alternative market space to those vendors that have been forced to trade their wares on the streets.

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