Sooba denies imposing exorbitant fees for Mash Day vending

-says Banks DIH pullout due to internal issue

Acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba has said that Banks DIH was never asked to pay any exorbitant fees for spots along the Merriman Mall on Mashramani Day, as recently claimed by Deputy Patricia Chase-Green.

“Banks DIH, I think they have some internal issue. Banks owe us since last year for the spots by Lamaha and Vlissengen Road and they refused to pay our staff. They took three spots last year. We raised it just a little, nothing exorbitant,” Sooba told reporters yesterday.

“We just raise it by $40,000. Before it was $360,000 for several spots on Vlissengen Road. We have all the other major companies and we have no issue with them. I don’t know why a major company like Banks (complained) for such a meagre sum and then they go and publish it is $800,000,” Sooba said.  Banks DIH has not responded to Sooba’s statements.

(from left to right) Superintendent Errol Watts, acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba, ‘A’ Division Commander George Vyphuis and another senior policeman discussing preparations for Mash Day at the Merriman Mall yesterday.  (Arian Browne photo)
(from left to right) Superintendent Errol Watts, acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba, ‘A’ Division Commander George Vyphuis and another senior policeman discussing preparations for Mash Day at the Merriman Mall yesterday. (Arian Browne photo)

Chase-Green at a recent press conference had accused the Town Clerk of charging Banks DIH triple the fees that they were normally charged for spots. “Throughout the years up to the year 2012, [they] were… paying $225,000 [for a spot],” she said. She explained that last year, the Town Clerk raised the fee per spot to “$456,000 and this year they were asked to pay in excess of $800,000 for that spot. It is a great blow… you have major companies withdrawing. What has happened is that spot has now become an economic venture for the council… to gain money and that was never the intention. The intention was to get money for immediate clean up, to pay contractors,” she had said.

Chase-Green had opined that she saw this new initiative by the Town Clerk as a way of “destroying Mashramani” as it was exploiting vendors who were trying to do business on that day, while adding that small vendors are now being asked to pay $10,000 and $15,000 for spots.

She had pointed out that the main reason for collecting fees for spots on Mashramani Day was for the council to earn some cash so as to clean up the garbage after the celebration. She said the clean-up exercise costs between $356,000 and $400,000.

Mayor Hamilton Green in an interview with Stabroek News earlier this week had said that Sooba had not consulted the council when she decided to hike the fees. “It is a national holiday; we can’t charge people to watch the parade. We are going to tell people don’t pay a cent,” he said.

Meanwhile, ‘A’ Division Commander George Vyphuis has said that the police are prepared for Mashramani Day and are going to make sure that security is at the highest level.

Amsterdam said that they would deploy around 300 policemen on Mash day. “We would have deployed approximately 300 ranks, which include plain clothes and traffic police. We will work in two shifts. We are prepared to work long hours to maintain safety. We are prepared to do that,” he said.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Stealth flight plane grounded in Anguilla

One of two planes that left Guyana illegally under the cover of darkness on Saturday has been given clearance to leave Anguilla and the other was grounded in the British overseas territory, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has said.

The remains of the home Satesh Jagmohan was occupying when tragedy struck

De Willem teen burns to death in house fire

A 19-year-old labourer perished in a mysterious fire which destroyed a two-bedroom house in the De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) squatting area on Saturday night.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil set to drill more oil wells

American oil firm ExxonMobil will be drilling more wells after an appraisal well confirmed the presence of a significant deposit of oil in the location close to where the first well was drilled.

default placeholder

Implement anti-discrimination laws quickly – outgoing US Embassy Deputy

It is important that Guyana move quickly to enact anti-discrimination laws as discrimination and homophobia “is a very real problem” for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community here, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has said.

Ishaan Caines

Coverden cop dies in Bamia accident

A police rank died on Saturday afternoon after he lost control of the car he was driving and it flipped over in the vicinity of the Bamia Creek on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

A section of the gathering (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

Protected zones to be set up in all 10 regions

President David Granger on Friday said that protected areas will be established in all 10 regions of the country. The Ministry of the Presidency said in a release on Saturday that he was speaking at the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana’s (THAG) President’s Awards Ceremony 2016.

default placeholder

GPL invites bids for 11 MW Anna Regina plant

The Guyana Power and Light is inviting bids for the construction of an 11 MW plant at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast and one for 5.5 MW at Canefield on the East Berbice.

default placeholder

Waste management soaking up BV/Triumph NDC funds

Waste management is taking up over 50% of the revenues of the Beterverwagting /Triumph Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) and councillors who were elected at historic local government polls are now confronting problems which have led to frustration with one already contemplating resignation.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: