By Goth Mohamed Goth
Dozens of women vendors today held a demonstration outside the Presidential premises to demand compensation of their property and the constant harassment by authorities.
The mostly elderly demonstrators demanded their grievances be addressed by President Muse Bihi Abdi after the Mayor of Hargeisa Abdurrahman Solteco turned them away labeling them to be Oromo’s.
They claimed that some of them have operated businesses in that market for the last 30 years and never failed to pay taxes yet they don’t receive any form of services from the Hargeisa city council.
The deputy governor of Maroodi-Jeh region and other government officials tried to claim down the angry demonstrators but to no avail. The demonstrators proceeded to the ministry of Interior to present their grievances.
The Hargeisa City Council twelve days ago took advantage of the lockdown period to destroy Hundreds of roadside market stalls in Xisbiga and Saladda areas.
The city posted on social media soon after that the affected will be accommodated in appropriate spaces designated by the city council.
It is not the first time the vendors have been removed from the sites with nothing by way of construction of modern market stalls coming.
The demolitions came just some days after the lapse of the government imposed a one-month national lockdown period.
The action by authorities presents a fresh headache to hard-pressed market stall owners, who have endured a difficult two weeks COVID-19 away from their sources of income.
Just last week Hon Saad Ali Shire, Minister of Finance announced that the government of Somaliland had allocated a million-dollar grant meant to accelerate empowerment initiatives for start-ups and SMEs, especially those run by the youth and women affected by the COVID-19 lockdown though he stopped short of detailing the mechanism of how those funds shall be disbursed to the affected.