After Town Clerk Royston King declared that all vendors in the Stabroek Market Square and environs would be moved to a new location, the move is in jeopardy as the businessman objected to vendors with stalls.
This comes even as the City Constabulary on Tuesday morning continued to seize the stalls and other vending infrastructure belonging to vendors in the area.
As vendors attempted to make their move to the designated land, they were greeted with three large padlocks and news that the owner of the land did not have a formal agreement with the Mayor and City Council.
Demerara Waves managed to secure a comment from the owner of the property, Hareshnarine ‘Chinee’ Sugrim who said that while he was not opposed to persons vending on the land, he had some conditions of his own that have not been met.
First on Sugrims conditions was that the agreement with the Town Clerk be legally binding. He said that while a verbal agreement was made, he has requested that everything be put into writing before the City Council moves forward.
“The town clerk has asked me to borrow the land for three months but we have to go to the lawyer to get a proper document but when the three months is up everybody evacuates from there…We are not allowing anybody or the city council or anybody to build everything there … it is just for vendors who selling farm produce,” the man told Demerara Waves.
He said that he placed a padlock of his own on the gates and until such time that there is a legally enforceable document he will not allow anyone to occupy his land.
“No permission is granted until we get a proper documentation from the Attorneys and the courts… we don’t want when time meet and the three months up they own the place…I gave him a verbal talking but I told him I need legal documents before anybody occupies the place,” he stated.
It should be noted that most of the vendors that are to be relocated are not fresh produce vendors. Rather these are individuals who trade haberdasheries among other items.
Back at City Council, attempts were made to get a comment from the Town Clerk however journalists were told to return tomorrow.
Georgetown’s Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan is however urging that vendors remain calm as the Councillors attempt to work out a solution to the issue.
He stated that already a meeting was held with ten representatives from the Market and a meeting with all of the vendors planned for Friday.
There will also be an attempt to have an emergency meeting with the City Councillors.
Duncan said that there are plans to “discuss the way forward as to the piece of land that was being granted to us for the vending process” which means that “everything is at a standstill until Friday.”
Defending the move by the Council, Duncan pointed out that “vending as far as the law allows it is supposed to be a walk and sell affair…really and truly we are going a little beyond our remit.”
Even as these statements were being made hundreds of vendors had gathered at the Regent Street Entrance to the City Council in protest of the move against them.
They said that the move and its delays will essentially put them on the breadline since it will mean no income for them over the next few days.
Others groups had also gathered at different points in the city in protest and discussing the move by the Town Clerk.
Some had also staged a protest outside of the official residence of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and outside of the Ministry of the Presidency.