Water vendors removed from City streets; Hostile Benn refuses to give explanation

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By Kurt Campbell

Water Vendors 2[www.inewsguyana.com] – The growing number of persons selling water along the streets of Georgetown, particularly at traffic lights has been reduced, within days, to zero.

iNews was reliably informed that the removal of the ‘water vendors’ was done following the order of Public Works Minister Robeson Benn. Earlier in the week, Ministry of Public Works vehicles were seen taking away persons and their goods.

When contacted this morning, a hostile Benn refused to give any explanation for the actions taken by officials within his Ministry. Benn proceeded to attack the reporter in relation to a press release issued by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) which was published by iNews yesterday in relation to the koker collapse at Peter’s Hall, East Bank Demerara.

“What nonsense you guys publishing on iNews,” Benn said. He however noted that he does not need to explain why the vendors were removed as it is stated in Guyana’s constitution.

When asked to at least reference the section of the Constitution which gives his officials the authority to remove the vendors, an inimical Benn replied “I am not giving you anything, go and find it for yourself.”

iNews caught up with some of the vendors who said they were told that they were illegally occupying roadsides and reserves which must cease immediately.

In some cases some vendors’ goods and storage equipment were seized.Water Vendors 1

When contacted, Town Clerk Carol Sooba, though unaware that the persons were removed, explained that the Constitution of Guyana clearly states that it is unlawful to occupy roadsides for commercial use.

She said it infringes on the rights of all citizens who are using the roadways and causes risk and discomfort.

Others believe that the act also creates unfair competition to legitimate businesses since roadside vendors do not have the required licences and also do not pay taxes.

Some say too that it is an eyesore for the tourism industry and that it sends a negative message. However, others say it was the introduction of what could morph into a unique culture.

11 COMMENTS

  1. All vendors and supporters need to find where these people lives. Minister Benn, miss Carol Sooba etc. Get out to their houses and protest these acts. We have poverty on a high level, high unemployment, low wages high cost of living and above all dirty racial politics which is taking us to be the poorest country in the world what do you want these people to do al least the are trying to make a living to survive.

  2. Here they are taking bread out of people’s mouth, so to speak..smh When all is said and done, the government is not providing enough jobs for the people of Guyana. These vendors are trying to provide for their homes legitimately, by taking this away, what are they to do? Depend on the $10000 Because We Care voucher? SMH…

  3. sound like yuh bellygriping bout government people and their family…what warning must be given…they are all adults and must use their common sense if bunham give yall any to know u r breaking the law..yuh sound stupid…or yuh down right stupid..u go and kill ..so the law must come after you to “warn” you not to kill after the fact yuh big dumbell

  4. Well a whole bunch of PNCites and YSMites block the road as we was going work.
    My driver asked what’s wrong.
    HIm seh ‘ah collecting donation foh PNc’.
    My driver seh ‘get the **%# off in front of my vehicle’.
    These bullies can be very intimidating and can throw object at you or in the vehicle.
    Minister Benn is quite right. Chase the bullies out to open a legitimate Business. If you want to sell water, do it in your yard.
    Burnham use to add a few more zeros after the original donation on the cheque! He is the king bully.

  5. What about the vagrants and beggars at the traffic lights, that is a traffic hazard
    and soon will put motorist to deal with the accidents they will cause

  6. Since this is the explanation then please remove all the persons begging from the traffic lights and road too. This is a commercial activity and it also causes risks and discomfort.

  7. I do not agree that these poor people who is trying to make a honest living should be callously removed…maybe a warning should of being given first. More so, how many more things we see on a daily basis that are in violation of the Constitution of Guyana that the “hammer” refuse to see and take action for…what about his son who violate the laws of Guyana?. Lastly, if these were family of high end persons in Government they would of been left alone…unfair …unjust

  8. Soon the sweetie man and the nut man and plantain chips man will all be told that they are illegal. I know that these water vendors are usually mobile. How come they are occupying reserves?

  9. People do not have to put up with nuisances.
    Please do not come up to my car window and ask me to buy your water.
    If I need water and fruits I will go to the market or grocery stores.
    If I need chicken or pizza, i know where to get it.
    It is no wonder the place looks like a dump.
    Everyone is littering!
    Go around and check where the empty bottles ended up.
    People needs privacy, when you come to my car window, you see what or who is inside. I do not want to be robbed or put under duress to buy anything or any service. This is one reason why I dislike squeegee kids.
    If my car window is dirty, I will clean it!

  10. well well well very well its about time someone with authority muster up the balls to respond to the press in the correct way..the press would make this a big issue even though these vendors are wrong…the press would kick up a stink in favor of illegality..its about times these people get a grip on life and do the right thing..i see them selling water at traffic lights where motorists looking in their purse and wallets for money to pay..then the illegal water vendor have to give them back change blocking traffic even more..green light to some idiots means stop and purchase..
    sorry inews but u looked for that and thats the correct way to handle the press in my humble opinion..the press must never be allowed to make illegality a big deal out of it.. they are wrong ..the press should ask them if they know they are breaking the law..the press must them to not to do it..

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