By EDDIE OSIFELO
TWO Divisions in the Honiara City Council are implementing strict rules to restore order at the Central Market.
The Market Standing Committee under Trade and Commerce and the Law Enforcement Division commenced the operation on Saturday following illegal selling of products, vendors pushed out to sell their products outside the market building and fish vendors using rocket scales to charge customers with higher prizes.
Chairlady of Trade and Commerce, Councillor Dorah Huapii Irofia said they came up with the rules after vendors have been selling their products outside the boundary of the market.
She said this is because the resellers have been occupying the spaces in the markets and claimed to own them after using for many years.
“Under the HCC ordinance, no one owns the space in the market to sell products,” Irogia said.
“We want to promote fairness to every vendor especially farmers of Guadalcanal who are forced to sell their products outside the market which is risky to them because of its closeness to the busstop,” she added.
As such, Irofia said they are making sure all vendors sell their products inside the market whether they are farmers or resellers.
Further to that, she said the Council has purchased 20 standard scales to be used in the market to weigh fish.
He said the Council disallowed fish vendors to use “rocket scales” now because it was unfair to customers.
In addition, Chairman of Law Enforcement Division, Robert Oge said they also realised when vendors sold their products outside the market, it contributed to traffic hold up.
Oge, also the Deputy Mayor, said the measures are the beginning of the process to take full control of the market to give confidence back to customers and foreigners as well.
He said the Council will try to recruit security officers to man the market to make sure vendors abide by the rules.
“We call for full cooperation from the vendors to work together with the Council for the good of the City.
“If we can’t control the market, then it is impossible to control the whole City,” Oge added.
Island Sun visited the market yesterday and found out no vendors are now selling their products outside the boundary of the market close to the bus stop.
However, a market vendor Henry Kauhui said this is unfair when the Council reduces the space in the market for vendors to sell their products.
“We pay $15 fee per day plus $5 for a chair.
“I think the Council should provide more stalls for vendors to sell their products,” he added.
However, the Council’s two divisions believe this is the right move to take to restore fairness and dignity to the market.