- They defied a 31 May deadline to move
- Want an alternative place to go
- Say they being of the informal sector should not mean they can be discriminated against
FRANCISTOWN: Tenants of Francistown Central Market have defied an ultimatum Francistown City Council (FCC) for them to vacate the stalls by 31 May in order for a developer to upgrade the place, The Botswana Gazette has established.
They remain adamant that they will only move if FCC provides an alternative place.
The impasse between the more than 60 tenants and the council began when the council leased the market to Amasa Civils (Pty) Ltd for development. This week the Chairman of the group, Alufai Alufai, told The Botswana Gazette that they cannot move when they do not know where they are going.
“We cannot vacate this place because there is nowhere for us to go,” Alufai emphasised. “Moving without an alternative place would be suicidal because our businesses would immediately collapse. Hopefully, the council will give us positive feedback so that we nay move.”
Alufai accused the council of taking a drastic decision without considering their plight and welfare. “We welcome any progress but we do not want to be discriminated against simply because we are of the informal sector,” he said.
Reached for comment, the Town Clerk of FCC, Lopang Pule, said he is not aware that tenants have defied the council notice to vacate their stalls. “I am not aware that they have not moved,” Pule said. “If that is the case, the council will take appropriate action. If their reason for not moving is unavailability of an alternative place, as they claim, they should approach us to discuss this in a sober manner instead of going to the media.”
He confirmed that an investor has been given the site to upgrade.