Tawah Bundoo, Superintendent of the Red Light Market in Paynesville, did not mince her words recently when she bluntly accused the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) of collecting dues from sellers but neglecting their interest and welfare.
She made the accusation on July 7, 2018, on the grounds of the newly-constructed Omega Market where thousands of marketeers at the Red Light are expected to be relocated. Madam Bundoo, who was among hundreds of marketeers preparing the place for relocation, indicated that the LMA incites marketeers to resist the relocation plan because there at Red Light it collects money that has no impact on those from whom the money is collected.
“LMA only knows how to collect money from marketeers at Red Light and to claim markets built by government, but it does not care for the sellers who are selling in the rain and on the road,” Madam Bundoo said, adding, “They do not feel for the people whose goods are destroyed by cars and in some instances [sellers] killed by cars; but we the mothers in the Paynesville Market feel that these people must be safe in their business and so we are working here to relocate them.”
She said Red Light is usually overwhelmed by stockpiles of dirt that LMA collects money to remove but usually fail to do so in keeping with its responsibilities. At times, according to her, people use the dirt stockpile to bury dead bodies.
According to her, the Omega market should have been dedicated and people relocated long ago, but the LMA manipulated the relocation plan and its agents, who worked at the site, stole the commodes and other materials that were there for the building.
The Omega market
“LMA just wants to be at Red Light to be collecting LD$20.00 from marketeers without meeting the needs of sellers, and because this is their mission, they want to do everything not to open this market,” she noted.
The Omega Market, according to Tawah Bundoo, is situated on 480 acres of land and can host the huge number of buyers and sellers that congest the Red Light Market daily. She clarified that the market is for Paynesville City and there is a title deed substantiating its status.
When contacted on the allegations levied against the LMA by Madame Bundoo, the Public Relations Officer of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Mamadee Keita, described Madam Bundoo’s claim as “False and misleading,” and said the Omega Market is for LMA and those working there now are doing so illegally.
He said the LMA leadership is meeting to address the issue but could not state what the organization is doing about the ongoing work at the Omega Market.