National, News

Traders condemns City Mayor’s brutality 

By Charles K Mark

Chairperson, Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce, Robert Pitia critiques Juba City’s acting mayor for a brutal crackdown on street vendors.

Mr. Pitia’s criticism followed a trending video footage on social media that depicts, Emmanuel Khemis Richard in a running chase of street vendors at around Seventh Days’ Roundabout.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, Pitia said vendors are hardworking people struggling to make ends meet and do not deserve mistreatment, especially from the government that is meant to protect them.

Pitia, who categorized some of the vendors as widows, school dropouts, and students, among others, termed the conduct of the acting mayor uncivilized.

“It’s uncivilized for the Acting Mayor to threaten civilians and assault others with excessive force,” he remarked.

He said that slapping a civilian while holding a pistol in his hand, was unacceptable act.

“We are not in a jungle or in military barracks to mistreat civilians like that,” Pitia emphasized.

According to the chairperson of chamber of commerce, vendors only require civility in an attempt to address their issues but not use of forceful means.

“Acting Mayor, you are supposed to protect them and give them specific places to operate, not to mistreat them. You don’t know what they are going through. They’re expecting direction and respect from you,” Pitia directed in a written message.

He explained that even in developed countries, there are vendors, but only governments identify and allocate to them specific areas for them to operate.

Pitia appealed to the state government to handle the issue of vendors in civilized manner because they are struggling to feed their families.

He emphasized that the government is duty bound to protect street vendors and their livelihoods.

“I am requesting the Honorable Emmanuel Adil Anthony, governor of Central Equatoria State, to look into this matter. We are in a city, and people deserve a civilized manner of handling issues,” he appealed.

The chamber of commerce’s boss ruled neither a national nor foreign street vendor deserves any sort of harassment or mistreatment, arguing that even foreigners have representatives who are closely observing.

He urges the state governor to task the acting mayor on his conduct and place him under disciplinary measures.

“First of all, I am expecting the governor to call the mayor and tell him that what has been done is wrong. This is one; two, you have to take legal administration,” Pitia urged.

Pitia cites mistreatment of the people by the government as another form of tarnishing the country’s image.

He appealed to all traders and the civil population to understand their rights so that they could defend themselves.

“The government is there for the same people who you are mistreating. This is the government, because they are the ones going to put you there one day. So let us respect our people.”

The Chamber of commerce’s boss called for justice for the people who were brutally handled by the acting mayor during the crackdown against vendors.

However, No. 1 Citizen Daily English Newspaper discovered after an investigation, that the controversial video in circulation was captured over two months ago.



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