Marabella vendors find locked gates
By CECIL ASSON Tuesday, April 1 2014
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A locked gate at the Marabella market yesterday....
Vendors who turned up at the Marabella market yesterday to conduct holiday sales met with locked gates leaving them fuming and with thousands of dollars worth of fresh produce on their hands.
After three hours waiting for someone to open the gates, vendors told Newsday they left for home.
Speaking yesterday on behalf of the vendors, Ria Khelawan told Newsday that they will stage a protest outside the office of the Mayor of San Fernando Alderman Kazim Hosein this morning.
Khelawan said, “This should have never happened because the market is supposed to open on a public holiday. That permission was given to us by Minister Suruj Rambachan when he was Local Government Minister and up to the last public holiday we sold goods in the market. This morning when we arrived here with our vans loaded with goods to sell, we couldn’t get inside.”
She asked, “Who will compensate us for our losses we incurred today?”
Khelawan said vendors arrived at the market from early as 5.30 am yesterday and to await the gates to be opened at 6 am to close at 12 noon.
She continued, “We didn’t expect the market to be closed and we spoke to the watchman who said he did not have any order to open today. We then made several calls to other officials but got no response.”
It was not until 9 am that someone came and said a mistake was made and said the market will be opened. Khelawan said it made no sense going into the market to sell for only three hours as customers who came had already left.
Contacted yesterday San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein said that the market should have been opened for vendors to conduct their sales.
He said, “It is the fault of the administration that it was not opened and the matter will be thoroughly investigated tomorrow (today).