Court orders executed on Sunday by M&CC

Dear Editor,
I wish to respond to an article published in the local press on Monday, April 29, 2024, “Vendors stalls removed from outside Demico House, Discount Store in joint M&CC, Local Govt Ministry operation”.
I wish to state that the enforcement of the court orders which were executed on Sunday, April 28, 2024 was solely executed by employees of the City Engineer’s Department of the Council and led by the City Engineer, Colvern Venture, with support from the City Constabulary and the Guyana Police Force. At no material time was the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development or any employee of that ministry a part of that exercise. Further, there was no discussion on enforcing the court orders with anyone from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development by me.
On the day of the ruling, a letter was dispatched to the Mayor of Georgetown, Mr Alfred Mentore, informing him of the ruling of the court, the brief discussion held between myself and the Attorney representing Banks DIH Limited, and the need for an urgent meeting to address street vending (please see copy attached). I did not receive a response to this missive.
Due to the unfortunate collapse of the roof of the Stabroek Market Wharf, I called the Mayor and urged him once again to have an urgent meeting to discuss this incident and the approach to street vending and the removal/relocation of vendors. This meeting was held on April 18, 2024. Among the discussions raised at this meeting were the matter of the mandamuses and other correspondence received by me, from businesses, for the removal of vendors around their premises. However, there was no precise decision of the Council about the vendors around Demico House, the Discount Store, or any of the other correspondence requesting the Council to act on the removal of vendors.
Notices dated April 8, 2024, were issued to the vendors around Demico House and Discount Store requesting their immediate removal. While efforts were made by a few to comply with the notice, others remained at the locations. A final notice was issued on April 24, 2024, by the City Engineer for the immediate removal of all encumbrances from the two locations. At no time were the vendors given until April 30, 2024, to vacate the area nor did the court order give a date of April 30, 2024, for the vendors’ removal as claimed by the Mayor.
On Friday, April 26, 2024, the Mayor, via the Council’s WhatsApp group, queried about a cleaning exercise in the Stabroek Market Bazaar. I responded that assistance would be provided by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development to clean the internal drains within the Stabroek Market. A section of this conversation was posted by the Mayor on his Facebook page. At no time was there any discussion about the Ministry cleaning the Bazaar to restore the vendors. Therefore, I find all of the Mayor’s utterances about the vendors operating in the Bazaar and the removal of the vendors from the two locations mentioned above quite misleading and malicious.
It must be noted that the Administration of the Council was merely executing the orders of the High Court and was never involved in the process of blind-siding anyone. Further, it is important to note that whilst the Administration awaits a plan from the Full Council to address the issue of street vending, any order of the Court takes precedence.

Candace Nelson
Town Clerk of
Georgetown (ag)