On Tuesday, 21st November, 2017, a group of Mayor and City Council workers led by a Treasurer’s Department staffer, informed regular and potential vendors that the Council has authorised vending on the Eastern side of the road, in front of Stabroek Market (the ‘No’, ‘No’ area) and on Regent street.
Interested vendors were required to submit their names and were told that the Council will be collecting weekly rates but such rates will vary, depending on the type of goods being sold. However, they did not indicate when such a Council revenue earner will commence.
The Guyana Market Vendors Union is of the view that the Council’s compassion for these wage earners is commendable, whereby vendors operating on a small scale are being given an opportunity to ply their trade in an orderly manner. Surprisingly, on Friday evening another group of Council workers led by the same Treasurer’s Department staffer, which included Revenue and Security personnel were collecting moneys from vendors in varying amounts, ranging from $1,500 to as much as $5,000 three days after selling the idea.
Questions for City Hall ——1) Did the Market and Public Health Committee which is Chaired by the Deputy Mayor initiate this Christmas season road selling exercise that traditionally commences around the 15th December each year? 2) Is it a Road sale opening exercise or a permanent arrangement? 3) Who set the rates in the form as it was collected on Friday and why? 4) Are the spots being rented to Vendors or the Rates collected represents a cleansing fee?
The Guyana Market Vendors Union is of the view that it would have been more appropriate if a standard fee was charged for each spot instead of what was witnessed on Friday 24.11.2017. Also, if the ongoing exercise was not hatched and proposed by the Market and Public Health Committee then endorsed by full Council, then by whose fiat was it implemented?
Finally, it is the Union’s opinion that even though this City Council exercise appears to have been done in good faith, implementing same contrary to the Council’s Standard Operating Procedures, is a recipe for corruption.
Guyana Market Vendors Union