By Gary Hatigeva
MEMBERS of the Honiara general public have commended the Honiara City Council (HCC) Law Enforcement Unit’s latest demolition exercise currently being carried out to curb the ever growing illegal vendor activities around the city, but are calling for a fair application of ordinances.
This comes after SIBC reported the Unit’s demolishing exercise yesterday of stalls that according to HCC, were carrying out business activities illegally and have been breaching HCC Ordinances.
Further to that, the Head of the Unit said due to additional activities, with the illegal sale of alcohol, they were forced to take immediate actions.
SIBC’s Lowen Sei reported that according to Head of the Law Enforcement Unit, that because of big events also set to be hosted in the capital, the exercise comes as part of cleaning up the city and improving its image.
“We are also clearing up this area to allow road work operations to expand and improve the road here, because this market is also disturbing the flow of traffic,” the Head of the Law Enforcement Unit explained during an interview with SIBC.
Meanwhile, Island Sun took time to interview members of the public both on the street and on social media, where many expressed that while they commend the HCC Law Enforcement Unit for a job well done, the enforcement needs to be done to all who are found breaching relevant ordinances.
Some have questioned the unit’s credibility and integrity, with allegations that the unit seemed to be strongly enforcing the rule of law on vendors who are not close to them but continue to turn a blind eye on people they have strings attached to.
Also highlighting this, members of popular local online forum, Yumi Tok Tok, also expressed similar concerns of unfair application of enforcement to vendors.
Some commentators have shared that if the demolition exercise is being effective, the unit needs to ensure that it is consistently applied to everyone with the same illegal stalls pulled down.
“Leave no stones unturned, and work in line of profession to reflect no wantok business in your exercise,” one Yumi Tok Tok members stated.
Another suggested that while it’s challenging to accept such but if the people are to improve, they need to comply.
They added that true, it is a source of income for many, but pointed out that it also comes with a lot of disadvantages including hygiene issue, practice of bad habit such as unnecessary spending, health related any many others.
The forum also heard that a lot who are betle nut chewers don’t like such scenarios but and are hoping that the authority do something to properly house these activities somewhere safe and are controllable.
Some have suggested for the ban of betle nut bags entering through the gates of the wharfs at point cruiz.
Others are concerned that the unit is seemingly overlooking what’s in their very eyes, at the Central Market, where fish sellers are complaining that betle vendors are dominating spaces and in most cases, created all kinds of health related problems, which includes the issue of hygiene.
But officials within the Honiara City Council Head office said this are things they hear every now and then, but no one has ever stepped up to make official complaints on the highlighted concerns.
They however explained that the Council will closely monitor this exercise and ensure that all those in breach of HCC Ordinance do not get away with things.
This is something the Head of the Unit also strongly emphasized, stressing that the they are now back on the street and the demolition exercise will continue into the coming weeks in other illegal markets around the city.