Days after President Irfaan Ali visited the Meadow Bank Wharf and promised a series of interventions to improve the environment, scores of vendors woke up to a call on Monday morning from an unknown personnel who informed them that their stalls were being demolished to erect a police outpost.
Though the vendors welcomed the idea of the police outpost, they related that they should have been notified especially if this required their stalls being broken down.
Kamla said, “I got saltfish and fresh fish selling here and when I come out I get a call and I see the man them breaking down the stand so I go to them and ask why yall bruk down the stand? They get order, I say from who them say them can’t tell me…This is unreasonable we is poor people some day you come out you don’t get nothing, you want break the stand inform we.”
Her statement came with echoes of support from other vendors who took abandoned pieces of wood from their demolished stalls to block the road leading to the wharf.
Additionally, scores of vehicles that were required to access the wharf were forced to turn back as the path was blocked.
When asked if the vendors were able to identify the persons that broke their stalls, they said no, but one of the vendors related that one of the men involved in the demolition said it was the President’s order.
She however noted that the crew left after they (the vendors) began to make noise and ask questions. She said the persons breaking their stalls even threatened to bring back the police.
The vendors who demanded answers from the relevant authorities about why their stalls had been demolished were then visited by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha who made it known that President Ali had never given such an order.
On the bright side, he assured the vendors that their stalls will be rebuilt.
“Nobody sent nobody to break your stalls […] Between now and this afternoon the police have to fix back your stalls. I just spoke to the Minister of Home Affairs who is their boss I also spoke to Mr Brutus they will come here and fix back your stalls,” he assured.
He also assured that they will look after the washroom facility and place street lights to enhance security.