STREET VENDORS EVICTED BY POLICE OFFICERS

By Mustapha Jallow

Foroyaa was informed that street vendors on the roadside around the Latri-Kunda Sabiji market were being evicted by the Gambia Police Force (GPF) stationed inside the Latri-kunda Market on 13 June, 2016.

This development is coming in the heels of the reported disbanding with immediate effect of the municipal police in Banjul and Kanifing following an executive order on Thursday, 9 June, 2016.

When this reporter visited the said the area, it was confirmed to him by some of the affected vendors at the market that they were asked by police to clear from the place.

Mr Foday Sonko, one of the evicted vendors, said he has been selling jeans and footwear there since 2005.

“I was shocked when some police officers came today (yesterday) to tell me that they have directive that we should move away from this area. They told us that we are being warned to remove our things and that if we do not comply when they come back they will take them away,” said the desperate vendor.

He said he has been paying D500 as licence fee and D30 as daily duty.

He lamented the difficulties they are coming to face as family heads, especially in this month of Ramadan and its concomitant expenses without ant means of earning income.

Another vendor, Mr Kebba Barrow, who was found parking his goods in a container aslo expressed similar concerns.

Fatou Cham-Gaye, a woman market vendor, explained that when she came in the morning, she was told by another vendor that some officers in uniform came and asked them to move from the place immediately without any notification.

“I have 7 children whose feeding, clothing and education are entirely my sole responsibility and I was able to support them through this petty trade that I’m doing here. If I’m evicted how would I continue to support them?” asked the desperate woman vendor.

When the person said to be the Police stationed officer (SO) of the police stationed at the Latrikunda market was approached to shed light on the issue, he referred this reporter to the Police PRO.

At the time of going to press, ASP Lamin Njie could not be reached.