The saga of the Dangriga Town market project continues as SIF representative Ernest Raymond met with Mayor of Dangriga Gilbert Swazo to discuss a possible handing over of the project. You may recall that SIF removed previous contractor Kennard Smart of K&G Construction for being unable to move ahead with the project despite over $400,000 invested. SIF refuses to deal with replacement contractors Lyndon Bailey and Emy Ramirez Gilharry and so they packed up their materials on Wednesday. Ernest Raymond declined an interview, but we are told that he discussed with Mayor Swazo the possibility of the Dangriga Town Council holding the project until a new contractor is found. Mayor Swazo told us why he’s not buying that.
Mr. Gilberto Suazo- Mayor of Dangriga
“Remember we have been told that there was a total of $750,000 that was left to complete the project. If and when there is an assessment of the entire works and money that is yet to be used to take the market to completion. If that money is more than the $750,000 that SIF says that they have, it is my humble opinion that they may come after Dangriga Town Council saying that you have to pay a percentage. The Dangriga Town Council, on behalf of the people will not take any pay, anything towards that, because whatever termination is not as a result of the Dangriga Town Council. We have fully satisfied all the obligations that were given to us. So, we will certainly request that SIF make whatever additional payment on behalf of that right if that should come about.”
Ernest Raymond and Mayor Swazo took a tour of the site Wednesday, and the Mayor says he and the residents of the Culture Capital will not accept a non-functional market. On Friday there will be a meeting of the House of Representatives and according to the Mayor, all the aggrieved individuals will be protesting the Government’s handling of the matter.
Mr. Gilberto Suazo- Mayor of Dangriga
“ I have been called on numerous occasions, indicating, Mayor, you just tell us what is happening, when it is happening and we will support you; and we have gotten support from outside of Dangriga. That is to be ascertained in what quantity, in what numbers that level of support will be. So, certainly, the people of Dangriga are very upset, very unhappy and they want us to continue to demonstrate that we are not happy with the decision to terminate our Market project in any way or form. They are saying that we want to go to Belmopan this Friday and their will behind the Dangriga Town Council and we will stand in front and lead the charge in front and lead the cause on behalf of our people”
We also spoke with contractors Lyndon Bailey and Emy Ramirez. Mr Bailey told us he’s tired of being pushed around and says he plans to get SIF’s attention in an extraordinary way.
[Asked if she would be at the steps of the National Assembly on Friday]“Oh, yes I will. A few of us will be there, yes! I’m not planning to back down. This is just not right. We had expected SIF would have been here to be with us to take assessment of the material that was here for auditing, and it’s…you know…to see that these people is not here, it’s kind of like that what type of management we have in our country? You know… I mean, it doesn’t look good in my view.
“SIF, we caught you red-handed. So it is time for you to pay us. You are the one that got us into this mess, if you were forthcoming with the truth, things would have…the market would have been finished and we would have been out of here, and the people dem in Dangriga would have enjoy their new market. I will be fighting for my money and if the fight continue, I will be sleeping at the SIF office though in next week for a whole night or maybe a whole week. So, if the fight is not ova until we get our money, then the fight will be ova”.
Finally we hear from the vendors themselves who have been inconvenienced by the project.
“But we don’t get the money because all the vendors are on the roadside and the people have to go all the way around. It’s not the market. They are saying that we can send more money and afterwards, that they can continue the market if they want”.
“We feel bad right now because we loose lotta vegetable to on vendors in this area because too far mek e people walk. They have been disadvantaged”.
“If you ask me, how much I have made this morning, I have made $6.00! Six dollars! But when this open, at least I can make twelve!”
“I hope they’ll find some solution fih mek e been…”
“Hopefully, they stop playing politics and get this market done because we need this market; we need this market to be finished!”