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The Institute for Action Against Discrimination (IIAD) in a statement released this morning said the organisation condemns the action of Central Government in the forceful removal of vendors in the vicinity of Georgetown Public Hospital, New Market Street, on Monday December 12, 2022.
Last evening the Ministry of Public Works, using a crane to move the vendors, clashed with the Georgetown Mayor and Council. Mayor Pandit Ubraj Narine in a statement Monday said the City Council issued no Notice for the removal of the vendors nor had any partnership with the Central Government to do so.
According to Ubraj, the central government does not have the authority to remove the vendors and their actions, under the watchful eyes of the Guyana Police Force, “cannot be seen as anything other than a deliberate economic strategy aimed at preventing poor people from earning a decent living, further pushing them into poverty.”
IAAD said such unconscionable acts will create undue hardship on the vendors and their families in the short to medium term.
Further, the dislocation of the vendors is affront to democracy and moreover a demonstration of blatant disregard for municipal governance since the area in contention falls under the control of the municipality, the organisation pointed out.
“As a matter of fact, the affected vendors were granted permission to conduct their business by the municipality and have honoured their financial obligations to the municipality.”
The organisation said there is further concern the removal of the vendors is not only illegal, a cruel act, and the timing most importune, but the act is discriminatory and will have revolting impacts on the African Guyanese economy.
IAAD said the organisation is confident were the vendors considered supporters of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) they would not have been treated with such economic brutality.
Therefore, said the organisation, President Ali is being called on to urgently review the unconscionable economic assault and allow the vendors to conduct their business pending the outcome of a favourable solution.