Monrovia - Some Muslims residents of the Jacob Town Community in Paynesville are raising concerns over the municipal regulation banning selling on Sundays.
At an interactive forum organized by the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC)-the Municipal government of the City of Paynesville, some of the residents argued that the city regulation violates Article 2 of the Liberian Constitution, which refers to the constitution as the fundamental law of Liberia with its provision having binding force and effect on all authorities and persons throughout the republic.
“The constitution calls for religious tolerance and if the city government is banning people from selling on Sunday because it is the day set aside by one group for worship, then it contradicts the very law we should be protecting,” one of the residents said.”
In response to the residents’ concerns Paynesville City Mayor Ms. Cyvette Gibson said, the city regulations are being backed by laws and she did not have the authority to change those laws to appease certain groups of citizens.
Gibson said: “There are laws that prevent selling on Sunday; we only allow certain people to sell on Sunday because of certain reasons like the pharmacy, and cold storage these are special cases, but any other thing to the contrary it is not in my power as a mayor to change it.”
The visit of the Mayor in Jacob Town which, according to the residents is the first in the history of the PCC was greeted by the residents with several recommendations and challenges face by them as residents.
They named; the issue of individuals constructing homes in the alleys, the lack of access to pure and safe drinking water, availability of pit latrine and access to road as some of the major challenges faced by them and requested the timely intervention at the level of the municipal.
In a position statement presented to the City mayor the residents claimed that the issue of teenage prostitution is increasingly getting rampant on a daily basis in that area, and called for needed intervention of government in providing alternative measures to the young girls who trade their bodies for livelihood.
The resident in the statement also complained of the lack of public school in that area and good sanitation and access to quality health services.
“One of our millennium goals is reducing maternal mortality and that goal cannot be achievable in the absence of a health facility so we need a health facility to be constructed in this Jacob Town. The issue of land and construction in the alleyways by some individuals is another serious issue that needs urgent attention by the Municipal government.”
In response to the residents position statement the PCC mayor thanked the residents for honoring the invitation from PCC and informed them of their role in ensuring that the City maintains clean and sanitized environment in the Municipality of Paynesville.
The meeting in Jacob Town is part of a series of activities undertaken by the PCC during the weekend some of which included a forum for youth and students creating awareness on the Ebola virus, and an Easter evening film for kids of the city on Friday.