Despite opposition from vendors, who ply their trade in the historic Stabroek Market Square, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) on Sunday morning moved in and dismantled some 130 stalls, some of which were at that location for almost 30 years.
The council had informed the vendors last week that they would be required to move and even set up a “temporary” location south of Parliament Buildings on Hadfield Street. The council said this move is part of its efforts to “clean up” the area and restore it to its former glory.
Some vendors reluctantly moved their merchandises prior to the exercise, while a few refused to move, expressing concerns about the new location at which they are being placed.
They are of the view the new vending area will not attract much business.
Some vendors expressed the concern that government has taken this decision as it seeks to “nice up” the city for foreigners, but totally ignoring the plight of Guyanese who ply their trade outside Stabroek Market, many of them being single-parents.
Many vendors accused government of only enticing them to vote for the coalition, and now they are casting them away and seeking to satisfy the desires of foreigners who were not here to vote for the coalition at elections.
One vendor accused the coalition of duping them with pre-election promises and now that they have won, those promises are abandoned.
However, City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green shrugged off the vendors’ claims that the Administration is backpedalling on its campaign promises and stated that, while they may have voted for the coalition, there must be order.
Meanwhile, Chase-Green made it clear that outside the market can no longer accommodate the vendors and held strong to her position that the area must be restored, noting that the area “looks like a shanty town”.
The M&CC is planning to allow some vendors to return to the area, while others may have to stay away permanently. But, the process through which the vendors will be selected to return is yet to be announced.