People’s National Party (PNP) candidate in Linstead and other parts of St. Catherine North West, Hugh Graham, has called for vendors to be given greater latitude to do business on designated streets conditionally – like they are allowed to do during the Christmas season.
He said the proposal would be helpful for vendors who suffered significant loss due to measures that were imposed to limit the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“During this COVID period where many Jamaicans are facing economic hardship, my suggested solution would be to allow or grant certain days and times for vendors to operate so they can sell their produce and make a living. We could then organize alternate traffic arrangements to facilitate this activity,” he explained.
Graham, who is also Councillor for the Lluidas Vale Division in St. Catherine, made the proposal after a video emerged, showing a Municipal police destroying a handcart and goods belonging to a vendor who was operating in the streets of Linstead yesterday.
He said: “The action of this officer is completely unacceptable, inappropriate and is in breach of protocol. If this vendor was operating illegally, surely there was a better way of managing this situation. Confiscate or cease, not destroy it…
“This video was disheartening and very disappointing for me to watch. The action of this officer was unacceptable,” Graham added.
He stated that destroying people’s property goes against the thrust to promote and encouraging entrepreneurship.
“We can’t be speaking with a forked tongue! On one hand, we lobby for round robins to take place so that the small businesses can survive and that the mothers can send their children to school. On the other hand, we seem to be OK with exercising indiscretion when someone is trying to make an honest living! Let us help our people! Don’t tear them down when they are trying. Let’s educate and guide them better,” Graham added.
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