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Jul 6, 2011

Businessman Steven Okeke says mayor should take charge at market

Wholesale vendors operating along Hicatee Street just outside the Michael Finnegan Market are again up in arms over the deplorable conditions they are enduring from the rains in the past few days.  On Tuesday’s newscast several vendors complained about flooding in the area, saying that there isn’t adequate shelter for them to do business.  Today Stephen Okeke, a concerned citizen who has been following the situation since it first erupted a few weeks between wholesalers and retailers, stopped by News Five to share his position on the matter.  According to Okeke the mayor should be held responsible since it seems as though the councilor who is assigned to markets is inept at taking control of the matter.

Stephen Okeke, Concerned Citizen

Stephen Okeke

“What is taking place with the vendors on Hicatee Street is an embarrassment and an affront to what we city residents stand for and unfortunately it has been made an issue between the vendors and the wholesalers and the wholesalers and the City Council.  It should actually be about the city residents and everything as we have said before that encourages them to bring more produce to the city is good for the city.  Threatening them, insulting them is bad for the city, it’s bad representation, it’s bad for city governance.  I believe strongly the City Council doesn’t seem to know what to do or the councilor responsible for markets doesn’t seem to know what to do because from what is said yesterday it was absolutely embarrassing and disgusting and we don’t stand for that.  In fact the area at the market where the vendors sell they shouldn’t be there in the first place but if they must have to be there [then] why should it be so unhygienic and so unhealthy and so dirty?  I’ve seen professionals go there to buy including health officials.  You can see the leach from the garbage dump going into the drain.  Produce falls into the drain; it’s picked up and sold to us.  Something is making us ask for less and settle for less and that thing is not good for us.  Something should be done differently.  The Hicatee Street will not cost more than three or four thousand dollars to put well.  A few loads of stone, the government has graders the city council should have access to.  If they don’t they should have access to that.  The government has material the city council should have access to that, if they don’t they should have access to that.  In addition the city council acts as a landlord to the vendors, they pay I think two hundred and seventy-five dollars per month and there are about seventy-five of them.  The landlord or landlady is supposed to use some of that money to maintain the rental space.  A little money from the money these vendors are paying would make that area good for vending.  At least bring it up to the level of the canal road.”

Councilor Phillip Willoughby has said that work had been carried out in the area to provide for proper drainage during the rainy season.  He also maintained that vendors along Hicatee Street should have sought refuge for their produce inside the Michael Finnegan Market.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “Businessman Steven Okeke says mayor should take charge at market”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Go back to Africa , Okeke

  2. Damn Right says:

    now you mean fi tell me that rhese people selling for years and dont know that those areas are dry weather areas…wa lee rain come and the area flood??

  3. cg says:

    people always want to offend mr okeke because they don’t like his message..the man has always made a point and always look for the benefit of belizeans eventhough he was not born here. but then again, cruffy like show dem ignorance with deplorable comments….mr okeke do your thing sir…..everyone has a right to speak their mind…

  4. Clifford says:

    Ricky Malthus, you are just so jealous you can’t speak up like Mr. Okeke. Shame on you anyway. The man has a point. Atleast he isn’t Obese like you are sitting and doing nothing.

  5. BELICE says:

    Okeke is right, look at Chetumal market always improving, how about ours, vegetables in the drain and Filloughby insulting the poor market vendors. imagine the possibilites if he is the next mayor!!!

  6. william Freda says:

    Mr. Okeke is an outsider looking at the issues that we are so complacent about I wish my
    people would stop fighting the wrong fight.

  7. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    I am not in the habit of dishing out insults but it’s said that it is Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt, well said Mr. Okeke don’t let those idiots temper your fire. Remember My Legacy B4 My People

  8. CLEANHEART says:

    IT IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THE STREETS GET FLOODED AND IT WILL NOT BE THE LAST TIME EITHER, THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME VENDORS ARE ON THE STREET SIDE SELLING AND IT WILL NOT BE THE LAST TIME.
    THE VENDORS KNEW THAT A TROPICAL WAVE WAS ON THE WAY SO THEY SHOULD HAVE PREPARED THEMSELVES FOR ALL THE WATER THAT WAS COMING.
    OF COURSE WE HERE IN BELIZE CITY HAS SEEN WORSE FLOODING THAN THIS, IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO BE READY. WE CANNOT BLAME ANYBODY, FOR ALL THE WATER.
    INSTEAD WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR THE RAIN CAUSE THE WEATHER WAS REALLY HOT.

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