AG to vendors: ‘blocking public roadways, parapets illegal’


Moves by the government to clear public streets, roadways and parapets of encumbrances have been met with resistance, led and supported by the APNU+AFC Coalition opposition.

But the PPP/C administration intends to forge ahead with its plans to ensure that the capital city, Georgetown and other parts of the country remain clear, and has called on businesses and vendors to cooperate.

Attempts by the government Monday night to remove persons vending along the roadway to the Georgetown Public Hospital resulted in a clash between the police opposition political figures, including Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, Mayor of Georgetown Ubraj Narine and other Members of Parliament.

In issuing a reminder of the illegality of the vendors’ actions, Attorney General Anil Nandlall also condemned statements made by Narine.

The Mayor, in statements directed to President Irfaan Ali, accused the government of racism and religious intolerance, allegations Nandlall rejected as baseless.

“I condemn it and hopefully the police will look at it and carry out investigations. They need to seek relevant legal advice. This is not the type of behaviour and utterance we need,” Nandlall said as he recalled the Mayor laying on the roadway in the path of vehicles being used at the time to remove the illegal structures.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall earlier this year during a clean up exercise on the East Coast of Demerara

To deal with the substantive issue, Nandlall was keen to reiterate that placing encumbrances in public spaces remains illegal, and is a serious problem in the country.

He reminded that the Mayor and City Council is one agency that has the duty to clear public spaces of encumbrances, but reasoned that they have failed in that regard and has reportedly accepted financial compensation from businesses seeking cloak for their actions.

“We have a Mayor and City Council that is apparently authorising criminal illegal vending across the city.

“Some persons have receipts to show that they are paying to encumber public roadways, streets and parapets.

“These encumbrances are unlawful,” Nandlall said.

He noted that apart from the illegality, these encumbrances create traffic hazards, jeopardise public safety and the safety of road users.

“People have lost their lives because of these encumbrances… they are now blocking the ingress and egress to public facilities, private residents and businesses.”

The Attorney General also cautioned members of the public who are patronising illegal vendors while neglecting well established tax compliant businesses.

“It is unfair to the business people paying taxes. 99% of those operating encumbrances are not paying any taxes.

“No one will dispute Georgetown has a garbage problem. It is a nasty city when compared to the rest of the world,” Nandlall said as he largely blamed illegal vending for this challenge.

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