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Eviction Order By Hargeysa’s Mayor Puts Hundreds Of Vegetables Sellers Out Of Business
Hargeysa, Somaliland , January 7, 2006 (SL Times) – Hundreds of vegetables sellers lost their businesses following their forced eviction on Monday from a makeshift market place in the center of Hargeysa by the order of the city’s mayor, Hussein Jiciir.
Police and bulldozers were utilized to remove the vendors from the area, causing damage to the vegetables stocks on sale during the eviction day.
“The little that was left had been looted”, woman seller Khadra said.
Hundred of vegetables sellers mostly women took to the streets on Tuesday in protest against the mayor’s action.
According to Hargeysa Municipality , the vendors were required to leave the area and relocate to the premises of a new vegetables market. However only a small number of the vegetables vendors were actually allocated a space in the new market.
According to the spokesman of the Vegetables Sellers Association, Mohamed Ibrahim Wayrax, most of those who had been allotted space were newcomers to the vegetables business.
Meanwhile Mayor Jiciir’s public disclosure early last week that he contracted a private company called Maandeeq to run Hargeysa’s new Abattoir, drew angry protests from Butcher’s cooperative which represents people involved in the slaughtering, sale and transportation of meat in the town.
Cooperative members mostly women gathered in front of the mayor’s office on Saturday, to express concern over their future ability to use the new Abattoir. They also condemned the mayor’s decision to engage a private company without prior consultations with them.
“Mayor Jiciir is mistaken if he thinks that the thousands of people who make a living of the butchery business in Hargeysa would just disappear. In fact we will resist his scheme until our role has been clarified” the chairman of Nafaqo Abdi Haji Omer said.
Mr. Omer and many other members of Nafaqo suspect that the mayor has business interests in Maandeeq Company which had been awarded the contract for the construction of the new slaughterhouse without bidding.
So far the mayor’s statements on the role of Maandeeq in the management of the new Abattoir. On one occasion last week he was quoted as saying that Maandeeq’s role will be confined to carrying out maintenance, sanitation and hygiene.
On another previous one, he conceded that the company will be responsible for the running and long-term development of the Abattoir.
When pressed to tell the duration of the contract he signed with Maandeeq, the mayor described it as an open-ended venture. Moreover he envisaged the project to cost close to one million US dollars with most of the money to be contributed by Maandeeq.
Meanwhile according to a document obtained by the daily newspaper Haatuf, our sister publication, Hargeysa’s mayor Jiciir issued his brother Mahmud a title deed to a government building in the Ahmed Dhagax area of Hargeysa. The title was issued in the name of Mahmud Mohamed and signed by the mayor Hussein Mohamed Jiciir and his deputy Mohamed Abdillahi Urcade.
When last Monday Haatuf confronted the mayor with the title deed, he responded by saying “My brother is entitled to be given property”.