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City Hall orders some Bourda Market area street vendors to stop selling; millions of dollars in produce will be lost

One of six trucks laden with agricultural produce but nowhere to sell.

One of six trucks laden with agricultural produce but nowhere to sell.

More than 100 vendors and transporters of agricultural produce were Tuesday blocked from selling on Robb Street between Alexander and Bourda Street, resulting in the potential loss of millions of dollars in agricultural produce.

Acting Mayor, Sherod Duncan said he “is unaware of what led to the decision, but I am looking into it.”

Vendors said Town Clerk, Royston King walked through the area earlier in the day and ordered the immediate end to selling on that block until further notice because of garbage in the area. City Hall did not issue a statement on that decision.

Up to late Tuesday, City Constabulary members manned police barricades, preventing vehicular traffic from passing. On the fringes, vendors were seen with baskets and trucks of perishable vegetables and provisions that have been mostly locked up all day.

Tajekumar Outar had no other choice but to hold bundles of bora in his hand to sell a short distance from City Police barriers.

Tajekumar Outar had no other choice but to hold bundles of bora in his hand to sell a short distance from City Police barriers.

A frustrated young father had no other option but to collect bundles of bora from his wife who was at a nearby vehicle, and stand on the intersection of Robb and Alexander Streets to sell as much as he could. “This is not fair because farmers are working so hard to bring out their load out here to sell and then when you come out here you can’t get anywhere to sell,” said  Tajekumar Outar the farmer-vendor. “I have five children to look after. What this government want me to do? Right now I am so frustrated,” he said.

In other cases, other vendors risked exposing some of their items on the parapets near Robb and Alexander Streets in the hope of getting a few sales, while others eventually departed or remained and contemplated what next to do.

The vendors and truckers, several of whom come from as far as Parika and Black Bush Polder, complained bitterly that they were not notified in advance that they would have been barred from selling or delivering produce there.


These vendors , who opted to sell on the north-west corner of Alexander and Robb Streets, were eventually told by City Police to pack up and leave.

“This must affect us. We bought it and brought it. We got to get transportation. We had to pay people and the people will look forward to their money. They (City Council) will refund the people money to us? They would not do that,” an irate vendor, Rookmin, told Demerara Waves Online News as she sat on a stool.

Kurt Washington, who travelled from Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara to sell a few papaws, said all farmers and vendors who look forward to earning a few dollars at the street market would be badly affected. Saying that no arrangement has been for the displaced vendors, he questioned what the authorities were doing to improve the conditions of working people. “I don’t  know what these people want you to do. They say
good will come, but how good will come when you affecting ordinary people like me? This is really unfair. Nobody come and tell you anything. They just come and bulldoze you just so,” he said. “How long will we able to stand up to this? We can’t be living like this all the days of our lives.”
A trucker said the decision by the Town Clerk has already begun having a spin-off effect on at least 50 farmers who would have already reaped produce, but were told by transporters vendors_plantainthat they would not be collecting loads because there is no place to sell it. “I had to call everybody and cancel the load. Now the people rowing and asking what they would do with the load. I turn and ask them what I will do it if I can’t send it,” he said.

President of the newly-formed Guyana Market Vendors Union, Eon Andrews acknowledged that this is the biggest test that his union is facing since its formation about one month ago. He did not rule out legal and protest actions being taken against City Hall.

With each vendor charged 300 per table and GYD$4, 500 landing fee for vehicles to sell on Robb Street, Andrews questioned the wisdom of City Hall depriving itself of much needed revenue by removing the vendors and transporters. “You know from vendors, it is a daily income so why would one want to shoot one in one’s own foot. I don’t understand that kind of logic,” he said.

Andrews said he failed in his efforts to solicit the intervention of Minister of Communities, Ronad Bulkan because he was in Cabinet all day.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Come ooooonnnnn!!!!! No advance notice? No phased removal? No meeting with vendors?

    That the deputy mayor, once again, appears to be out of the loop of the decision-making points to a dictatorship being run from out of City Hall.

    This guy Royston King is a lightning rod of controversy and needs to be replaced. Not even Carol Sooba, who had her issues, was this brutish!

    • Danny Persaud

      Ha haaaa…
      I love how the pnc regime have you..
      That’s how life goes for the wicked…minded..

    • eddie

      what issue sooba had, under her tenure this city finally was in the black but these yahoo was the ones that make her out to look bad and her own that put her there never show any public support to her so she was in a rock and a hard place ,,,, someone like her will always be welcome on my team “a get it done person”

  • Col123

    This is a textbook case of visionless folks who are running the city. Working folks trying to etch out a living from produce affects the flow and circulation of money right down to the farmers…It is disgusting!…Where is the voice of the opposition ?.. central govt?…well, the no more gyam fyah mode….and the freedom fighters are on vacation …

    • eddie

      Where is the voice of the opposition ?.. should it not be where is the voice of the other part of the collation ,,,Duncan is acting in the capacity as mayor right now and this order was given and he has no idea about it,,,, the chain of command don’t mean jack ,,,, and this president every time he comes out of his spider hole he preach about unity but is ok with this tug mentality as matter of facts he used to condemn it when he was allowed in the open

  • Lance Vance

    hami,pnc & the city hall get rid of sooba who had the city,constable & vendors interest & heart ,but that was not good for the pnc-apnu& afc& hami,so they instal king DRUNK,THE VENDORS SHOULD SELL THERE PRODUCE IN THE COUNTRY SIDE FOR A LITTLE LESS & LET THEM SK00T STARVE MORE IN GEORGE TOWN.OR THEY CAN GET SH## FROM FREDDIE FACE.

  • rudeo

    Vote for change!……madness rages unchecked……God bless the righteous

  • ExPPP_Man

    Lovely – PNC on PNC crimes

  • eddie

    you should first ask your F************** king jagdeo,,, if they would have only run a clean government and stop operating like there were kings and queens this nonsense would not be playing out …socialism is dead and buried even the author of this is in the poor house so these little shrimp who wanted to challenge the big fish well this is your result suck on that