By Jankey Touray
Recently, the Market Manager of KMC, Modou Njie, went around to inspect the Buffer Zone market where claims were made that the place had been turned into a bar & restaurant.
In a radio interview, Njie expressed his dissatisfaction with the use of the Buffer Zone by some foreign nationals claiming it was given out by Gambians.
During the renovation of the Latri Kunda market, some vendors were asked to move from the market to the Zone until the building was completed and then they would relocate to their shops.
After touring around with his team, Mr. Njie disclosed that the impression at the Buffer Zone was disappointing, adding that they never thought that people will ever think of doing such within the Zone.
“The reason for the relocation of the market to the Zone was during the demolition of the Latri Kunda market to allow vendors carry out their business at the zone until the structure was completed,” Mr. Njie said.
He said the place has been turned into a bar, restaurant, and residents, adding that the occupant told him that they rented the place from others.
“As of now, I have a video of shops where people are staying (residential). Six bars have been closed and the place cleared. I asked them all to report to my office. There are shops here which are solely empty. I will make sure I write a recommendation to demolish all those shops.”
He went on to say that the revenue collectors always find the shops closed.
“When I came here at night, unfortunately, I met almost fifty percent of the shops opened, some selling rice while others were cooking, operating bars, playing games and kids playing ‘pepz’. In the other shops, I saw people sweeping to prepare the place for sleeping. They have created a dustbin with all the rubbish they sweep,” Njie explains.
He said the bars also operate at night with high sound system that disturbs the neighborhood, adding that the place has been turned into a donjon where people gather in groups to drink, chat and smoke.
The Market Manager of KMC disclosed that there are only two KMC security persons manning the place as patrols are likely not conducted on that ground.
He stated that his office will not recommend for the Buffer Zone to be a market, and that even if it is left for market purposes, it will be further looked into.