Defiant ‘Muneshwers vendors’ return to sell along roadway


In enforcing a Court Order, officers of the Mayor and City Council on Sunday took action to remove structures left behind by persons vending along the pavement and on the sides of the Muneshwers Limited Water Street, Georgetown building.

And though those efforts were largely successful, a large number of defiant vendors returned Monday morning to the area. The pavement remained relatively clear but vending continued on both sides of the roadway.

Muneshwers Limited went to court to seek redress after the location was overrun by vendors and the company’s sales were significantly affected.  At the end of 2023 and after about 15 years of complaints, Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George ordered that the vendors be removed or that the Mayor and City Council take steps to seize the good of those who refuse to move.

“The entire area cleared yesterday…some of them returned this morning and I was told that they are not on the pavement but on the road,” Town Clerk Candace Nelson told the News Room during a telephone conversation.

She assured that this will not be allowed to persist and an enforcement operation will be carried out within the next 24 hours.

“I have since informed the City Constabulary that the mandamus does not give such provisions. It clearly states that the entire area should be cleared and as such the vendors will have to be removed from the roadway around Muneshwers’ building.

“I spoke to the Assistant Superintendent and they are organizing to have those persons removed,” Nelson noted.

Vending along the roadway outside Muneshwers Limited (Photo: News Room/ January 29, 2024)

She said some of the vendors claimed that they were told by Councillors that they could sell on the roadway.

Although the ruling was handed down three months ago, Georgetown Mayor Alfred Mentore managed to strike a tripartite agreement on November 17, 2023 that allows the vendors to continue selling there until January 15, 2024.

This agreement should have given the Mayor and City Council time to find another location where the vendors can ply their trade.

This landmark judgment has seemingly encouraged other businesses, many of them operating for decades but suffering shortfall in their business operations because they are overrun by street vending and in some cases their buildings, including entrances, are completely blocked.

At the weekend, Banks DIH also lamented a similar situation at its Stabroek Market Demico House location, saying the facility was being abused by the vendors, something that has resulted in dwindling business operations for the adjoining hotel, restaurants and beer garden.

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