Legalization of Street Trading
We have been observing that in Sierra Leone unusual things are usual and vice versa. One thing that is unusual but has become usual is street trading.
Street trading has been a thorn in the flesh of successive governments. The former SLPP Government launched Operation Free Flow to clear traders off the streets and allow traffic to flow freely. The operation succeeded temporarily but later failed woefully as the traders came back to the streets in full force. The ruling APC government also seems to have failed to get the traders off the streets; otherwise, they will not be there in their Chinese numbers trading confidently.
In their desperation, traders have converted many streets into permanent market places thereby obstructing the free flow of traffic.
We are inclined to believe that street trading is one of the major causes of the traffic congestion that keeps tormenting citizens. What puzzles this medium is the question of why the traders avoid the market places and choose to sell on the streets.
Is it because they can only sell faster on the street?
This press vehemently condemns the rampant street trading that has messed up our capital city and we are calling on Ernest Bai Koroma’s second government to leave no pebble unturned to ensure that the stubborn traders are evacuated from the streets.
We strongly believe that streets were constructed for vehicles, not for traders, but from our observation the unhealthy practice of selling on the streets seems to have been legalized by the woeful failure of successive governments to put a stop to it.
Our argument is that if government is allowing street trading to continue with impunity, then we have every right to say it has been legalized. Traders now feel it is their constitutional right to use the streets as market centres. vJust visit Abacha Street, Fourah Bay Road and Sackville Street and you will prove us right.
Sierra Express Media is recommending that the Freetown City Council should pressurize government to sanitize the city by evicting the traders from the streets.
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