By Martha Louis – EMTV News, Madang
Kalibobo Ward 2 Market in Madang Province is a designated market location that has been operating for almost 16 years now. On Monday 21st May, two police officer approached vendors at the market, telling them to stop marketing. The two officers advised the vendors that due to the coming APEC Meeting in Madang next month, they said it would be better to avoid selling betel-nuts.
The next day (Tuesday 22 May), the officers returned, this time, they were harsh on the vendors.
According to the frustrated vendors, the only respective body that has the power to take such actions, is the Madang Urban Local Level Government.
They say the police can only act on the instructions given by the Urban LLG. This was set in place under a resolution passed by the Madang Urban LLG in 2006 and an action to remove the market by any local police should be done following an amendment headed by the Urban LLG.
Former Ward 2 Councillor and former Deputy Town Mayor, Christopher Tomongo, says this market is one of the ten informal designated market locations for the locals and the travelling public. He says the police do not have the power to remove the market and the vendors unless that are authorised by the Madang Urban LLG.
For now, the frustrated vendors say the town mayor has given them the permission to continue with their business.
Town Mayor, Joe Yama, and the Madang police could not be reached for further comments.