Home News City Council blocked from removing some Stabroek vendors
High Court Judge Roxanne Wiltshire-George on Wednesday issued an interim order blocking the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) from removing some vendors from around the Stabroek Market.
An injunction filed by a vendor, Peter Warner, on Wednesday in the High Court, sought to restrain Town Clerk Royston King and the City Council from removing some vendors from the outskirts of Stabroek Market.
King had said Wednesday that vendors would be able to move on to their new vending site by Thursday; however, the court has decided otherwise.
The High Court Judge will begin hearing the case on Tuesday, May 10.
According to the legal document seen by Guyana Times>>>, the plaintiff claims from the defendant, a declaration that the use and occupation by the plaintiff of a portion of private property situated at the former Guyana Stores Bond, Water Street, Georgetown, owned and controlled by either the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) or Malcolm Panday, for the purpose of trading and vending is lawful and duly authorised by the owners.
It said that a declaration that the decision of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown made and contained in notice dated May 3, 2016 and signed by the Town Clerk of Georgetown, to remove the plaintiff who is trading and vending on private property is illegal, unlawful and in breach of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01
Warner is also claiming damages in excess of 0,000 against the defendant for unlawful interference with his property, and 0,000 against the defendant for an intended trespass against his property.
The injunction restrains King and/or officers of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Georgetown from removing, destroying, damaging and/or interfering in any manner whatsoever with Warner’s stall, goods and merchandise.
According to Warner, he has been a clothes vendor for the past 15 years and has been occupying and conducting business at a stall situated at the former Guyana Stores Bond, Water Street, with the permission, authorisation and licence of Panday.
He said the property on which he trades was initially owned by Guyana Stores Limited and was used as a bond.
According to reports, the Guyana Stores Bond was sold by NICIL to Panday.
The vendor said about five years ago, Panday held a meeting with a number of vendors, including himself.
At that meeting, Panday granted permission for the vendors to use his private premises to erect stalls and use it for vending and trading until he needed it.
“My stall measures approximately 10 feet by 15 feet and made of wood and zinc. My stall currently holds approximately 300 pairs of jeans, 200 pairs of boots, 300 jerseys and 40 pairs of slippers. My stall is the only place I have to store my inventory and it does not hinder or interfere with free flow of traffic on the pavement controlled by the Mayor and City Council,” Warner said in the court document.
He related that on April 28, at the request of officers of City Council, he, along with several vendors, attended a meeting at City Hall where they were told by King to participate in a cleanup campaign for Georgetown.
On May 1, 2016, he said he, along with several other vendors, was involved in the cleaning up exercise along with members of the City Council.
He said the area targeted was the very former Guyana Stores Bond and its environs including all drains, parapets, pavements and vending areas in and around Water Street, Georgetown.
From all accounts, Warner said, the Mayor and Councillors are directing himself and other vendors to remove from the private property for an indefinite period of time with no certainty as to reoccupation of the area.
He said there were approximately nine stalls located at the former Bond. However, none of the stalls encroach or impede upon the pavement, road and drains in the area or in any manner whatsoever hinder or interfere with the ability of the City Council to clean or maintain same.
On Sunday last, over 140 persons vending on the outskirts of the Market were removed by the City Council, which said it needed to begin a massive clean-up campaign.
However, vendors became enraged after it was found out that no place had been readily provided for them to continue their vending. A series of protests followed, the last being in front of the Ministry of the Presidency on Tuesday.