“Call me RamKING Sharma,” Omardath Maraj, a joint winner of this year’s Chutney Soca Monarch, jokingly said as our interview was about to begin.
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Mayor: Site being sought for Salvatori vendors
Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee says he will be meeting with officials at the Local Government Ministry as part of his attempts to secure a space for vendors who are being moved from the Salvatori site on Independence Square. Tim Kee, in a telephone interview Friday, said he had spoken to Permanent Secretary Eric James and he expected to meet with him to discuss the matter.
Up until yesterday evening vendors were still at the site, placards glued to stalls as commuters made purchases.
Admitting that they knew the access to the site was temporary and on a month to month basis, vendors said their complaints stemmed from having nowhere else to go. One female vendor, a Port-of-Spain resident, said she was frustrated as she was not being allowed to sell on the streets and she was being told by Tim Kee that there was no space.
Vending continued as normal but several vendors said they were still waiting on a solution and seemed unsure about vacating the premises by tomorrow’s deadline. “It is unfair. He (Tim Kee) said he would try to find somewhere else for us but I don’t see anything happening,” said another vendor. Tim Kee, who has been attempting to find space at malls in downtown Port-of-Spain, said vendors had no choice but to vacate the site. “That isn’t the city’s property, that is UDeCOTT’s property and they want it back,” Tim Kee said.
Borris Makes Plea
In a news release Friday, Chairman of the Centre for Justice and African Anti-Suppression Movement Harvey Borris called on Tim Kee and the city corporation to give an extension to the Charlotte Street vendors who were currently occupying the space of the now demolished Salvatori building.
Borris said previously policies and standards were discussed regarding the daily operations of the vendors and the vendors were asking that said standards be put in place to keep them functioning.
He asked that the vendors be given an extension to September 30.