The leadership of the Yana-boys Association of Liberia has complained of constant harassments from officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and those from the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC). They also accused those working with the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) of harassments.
Yana-boys Association president, Prince Kollie, made the assertion to reporters yesterday at the Ministry of Labor in Monrovia.
Mr. Kollie said the actions by the LNP, Monrovia City Police, and the PCC against marketers, petty traders and Yana-Boys has become “very visible in all facets.”
“This situation is getting worse day after day because it is difficult to understand the extent such harassment has taken because there are too many police officers, either from the LNP or the city police that are constantly involved in arresting and taking away goods from our marketers,” Kollie claimed.
He said goods seized by any of the officers are only partly – or sometimes never – returned to the owners.
He said it appears as though the police have found this act of constant harassment the most effective means of getting items from the marketers without purchasing them.
Mr. Kollie wondered as to what becomes of the goods or markets seized from “our members by these security officers? Are the goods reported to government? We need answers to these questions from the heads of these agencies because our members are tired being victimized by the LNP and the City Police.”
He emphasized that many of the street sellers or marketers are indebted to the bank that loaned them the money they put into their businesses.
“We call on the government to put in place measures that will lead to relocating street sellers, because we are tired of being harassed by the LNP and the City Police,” he stated.
Mr. Kollie meanwhile cautioned the LNP, MCC and PCC to advise their officers to desist from constantly harassing marketers, who are out there finding means to sustain their families.
Kenneth Harris, Director of City Police, when contacted, said goods confiscated are not returned because marketers are in the habit of selling in the streets and in the drive ways without regard to the rights of others.
He then warned the marketers to desist from selling in the streets and other places and must rather return to selected market sites.
For his part, Sam Collins, LNP spokesman said he could not comment because he was not knowledgeable of the information.
Efforts through phone calls and three visits to the Paynesville City Cooperation (PCC) for their response to the Yana-boys’ allegations did not materialize.