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Container shops in Gardnerville risk removal

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Dozens of intransigent owners of container shops at the intersections of Chicken Soup Factory and LPRC risk being removed by the Ministry of Public Works (MPW).

The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the MPW in 2016 reportedly gave money to owners of business establishments operating along the Somalia Drive in Gardnersville Township to relocate.

The purpose of the reported payment for businesses’ relocation by government was to give way for the pavement of the Somalia Drive Road.

However, months after receiving the reported money from government, the evicted business entities resurfaced on the sidewalks and continue to operate there today, ignoring government’s 175 feet stopping point.

An official of the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) who begged for anonymity is wondering as to who authorize the placement of 20 and 40 feet containers on the sidewalks.

The anonymous official says most of the evicted businesses claim they have paid US$75.00 to an unnamed person in Gardnersville for the spot their containers are occupying.

But the official warns that those who gave money to people to be allowed to sell on the sidewalks along Somalia Drive are doing so at their own risk.

He notes that containers along the Somalia Drive risk being confiscated and sold by government.
The MPW official says that he sees no reason why people who received money from government to relocate will intentionally go to remain at the same place they have already been paid for.

In addition to plans to confiscate containers, the source warns that there are plans for the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to prosecute container owners for violating the mandate of government.

When contacted, some container shops owners including Fatu Mulbah Yassah, confirmed to this paper that an unnamed staff of Gardnership Township had encouraged container shops owners to replace their shops that are on the sidewalks.

They claim that they were asked to operate their container shops on the sidewalks since government has completed construction on one side of the road.

Most of the container shops operating there sell spare parts, clothes, rubber materials among others.
When the office of the Township Commissioner of Gardnersville was contacted over the weekend, a staff who refused to be identified said that his bosses had no knowledge about the situation.
The staff however promised to notify the relevant authorities for quick action.

By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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