Irate vendors, upset over the removal of their trays, chairs, tables and other belongings from the City during the ‘Safer Streets’campaign by the Castries Constituency Council (CCC), are planning to take protest action, the Vendors’ Association has disclosed.
Several of the affected vendors have been voicing their displeasure over the situation.
Phimber Modeste, also known as ‘Moah’, told St Lucia Times that although vendors are paying the CCC $3 every day, the received no notice about the removal of their property.
Modeste, who said he was holding the fort for his wife who was away, accused the CCC of vandalising the property of certain vendors while leaving the belongings of others untouched.
“I myself, them man told me to go to the Marchand market and look for my things – I can’t get nothing of mine and my things were brand new. I can’t get my brand new stool; I can’t get my stand; I can’t get my tray – nothing,” he complained.
(Items belonging to vendors)
Modeste accused the Mayor of having no respect for vendors.
“That man just looking for chaos, because if you say you cleaning up the City, why they don’t clean up at the back of the CDC that always smelling and all on the sidewalk where they have pieces of iron cutting people shoe and damaging people. Underneath the CDC – endless smoke in his face and he just brushing it; saying nothing.”
Modeste explained that people make a living from vending.
“On that I living.On that I paying my bills. I was all in yellow for them man – blowing horn and that is how them man treating me?Like I was a yellow monkey? ”
Jaunai Joseph, who told St Lucia Times that he is a street vendor by Valmont and repairs mobile telephones, said that he is ‘totally displeased’ with the way the CCC came on Sunday and carried off all the trays belonging to ‘loving, hard-working vendors’.
“What do you expect us to do? You have taken away our trays.” He explained.
Joseph declared that a meeting was called to discuss the issue but the matter was never resolved.
“This is form of dictatorship and I believe it might become a political loophole for the other side.”
He told St Lucia Times that vendors are hardworking and pay taxes every day, rain or shine.
“Now we have no shelter. Now we can no longer open an umbrella on the streets.How can this dictating thing happen? For God’s sake, there is a prime minister of this country and if he cannot be controlled, he must be taken out of office.”
Joseph declared that if the President of the Vendors’ Association, Peter Isaac, takes no action”we will take him out of office and replace him.”