Stall owners demonstrate against market street vendors

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Stall owners at the busy Serekunda market have protested against street vendors as bargaining period locally called ‘Wanterr’ is in full swing as Ramadan closes to an end. The protesters expressed dissatisfaction over the attitude of some street vendors, who they complained are responsible for their low profits.

The disturbance led to pelting of stones and witnessed the deployment of police, who later ordered the street vendors to vacate the vicinity.

Sources gathered from the market indicated that the reason for the demonstration was that stall owners complained that street vendors were disturbing them in their sales that normally cause them low profit.

“This is very painful because we pay our taxes together with the stalls and yet you have people every day making others devalue our sales and products. The street vendors will come to the market and down-price our products and also standing on our way with the customers,” Samba Faal, a stall owner said.

He thus appealed to authorities’ to look into the issue, adding that it is very difficult having no sales and at the end of month to pay taxes and rent.

Alpha Sarr, another stall owner, said they have been compromising with the street vendors for so many years now, saying this should stop now because they cannot continue to endure loses in their businesses

According to him, authorities urgently need to look into the issues, saying the street vendors are gaining more than them while they are paying more. “This is not fair and the authorities need to look into the issue to avoid commotion.”

Yassin Sallah, a street vendor said they have equal right in the market because they also pay their taxes to the Municipality, noting that, that is where they earn their living.

She said the purpose of their ‘wanterr’ is to help the needy ones who cannot afford to pay high prices for some expensive things.

Abubacarr Jallow said that the demonstration was a wrong one, adding that the street vendors paid their taxes and it was where they depend on to feed their families. “This is not fair. These are poor people who solely depend on their business to take care of their families.”

Author: Arfang M.S. Camara