30 November 2017

Gambia: Market Chairperson Speaks On Eviction of Vendors

Mr. Modou Lamin Colley the community Chairperson of the Latrikunda Sabaji market along the Brikama Westfield Highway, has pointed out that the market belongs to the residents of Latrikunda Sabaji and not the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC); that therefore the shops and canteens should be given back to their owners after the rebuilding of the market. The Market Chairperson made this and other remarks on Tuesday 28th November 2017, at the Foroyaa office in Churchill's town.

Mr. Colley harped on the history of the market saying it was built by the people of Latrikunda many years ago at a time when it was under the Brikama Area Council. "We used to collect taxes on our own in the early seventies and used the money to build the mosque and bring other social and developmental projects to the community of Latrikunda Sabaji," he said. The market Chairperson who looked so frustrated with the recent eviction, said the evicted vendors bought their canteens with their own money; that the canteens and stalls were not given to them free of charge and there should not be any reason(s) for them to lose their canteens or shops. "When the market was handed over to the KMC, they never brought any development or social amenity to the community, but have been collecting only tax from the vendors. And what they do with the money, this community does not know," he noted.

Mr. Colley said since 2008 when the market came to be under the control of the KMC, they have never had any peace with them; that they were very disappointed with the reaction of their Alkalo and National Assembly Member because partnering with security officers to forcefully evict peaceful vendors, is not part of their responsibility. "The MP is not responsible of anything in the market. He should not ask any vendor to move out of the market because that is not his duty as an MP," he said.

He hammered home that those vendors who bought their places and built their canteens, should be given back their canteens after the rebuilding of the market; that if KMC fails to do this, then they should know that they are engaged in a serious violation of the rights of the peaceful vendors, who can pursue the matter to any level to see that justice is done.

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