NATION

Tamavua Vendors Refuse To Move, Want Another Market

The Suva City Council has been at loggerheads with the vendors. Special administrator chairperson Isikeli Tikoduadua said the stalls were unsafe and violated many health codes.
31 Jan 2020 10:29
Tamavua Vendors Refuse To Move, Want Another Market
Market vendors along Mead Road in Suva just outside MH Superfresh.

Vendors who have taken ownership of State land and road reserves along Mead Road in Tamavua say they will not move until an alternative space in Tamavua is provided.

Minister for Lands Ashneel Sudhakar said the vendors had violated laws by occupying the space between the road and the MH Superfresh supermarket wall and therefore had to go.

The group of 10 women from Wairua in Tamavua who operate the flower stall, which provides a source of livelihood for their families said they wanted another market.

“We will only move then, and that market has to be in Tamavua and nowhere else,” Ulamila Olaga, 49, said.

“We are earning a living here. Many prominent people including Cabinet Ministers stop by here to do their shopping.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by other vendors. Most vendors have constructed permanent structures along the supermarket’s wall. One vendor has gone to the extent of building a small wooden building.

The Suva City Council has been at loggerheads with the vendors. Special administrator chairperson Isikeli Tikoduadua said the stalls were unsafe and violated many health codes.

He said they had identified another location but residents around the area had not taken the idea lightly as they feared the construction of the market, even a proper one, would attract the coconut sellers.

Customers at the supermarket have admitted to being pestered by the coconut sellers, some of whom use small children to sell their coconuts.

Mr Tikoduadua said residents were fearful because they claimed some of the coconut sellers were known for committing crimes such as theft.

Mr Sudhakar said the failure of the vendors to comply with the notice would mean legal proceedings would be instituted against them.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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