Business Protest Extends to Margibi

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HARBEL, Margibi- Normal business activities were stalled in Harbel and surrounding communities as local marketers adhered to calls from the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia to protest the government on some economic policies.

On early Sunday morning, many customers were seen purchasing additional items while transacting at unofficial markets within various communities in Harbel and its surroundings even though the local government authority in those communities have banned residents from selling in market structures on Sundays.

Harbel, Unification City, and Cotton Tree markets were shut down early Monday morning to the dismay of many residents. Unlike the three communities, there was normal selling activity in Dolo Town.

Almost all of the local marketers reported being formally notified by PATEL to disengage from selling on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the week.

Residents in Harbel and its surroundings were seen Monday morning moving within the community in search of their daily needs at the homes of marketers. Some sellers were seen secretly transacting with customers in half closed shops and stores within the community.

Stores owners in Harbel and Kakata were seen around their businesses while their stores remained closed.

Prior to the planned strike, Margibi County Superintendent John Zubah Buway called on marketers in the county not to adhere to the call of PATEL in closing their businesses to the public. He cautioned marketers in the county to formally inform his office of the challenges faced for his office to smoothly handle the problems.

Buway’s appeal was ignored earlier in the day as hundreds of marketers in the county opted to remain home in solidarity with the Patriotic Entrepreneurs. But reports said sellers in Kakata, the capital of Margibi, had resumed normal business activities during the afternoon hours.

Cheno Barry, who kept his tea shop in Unification City opened, said he would only close his shop based on orders from the government.

“I don’t even know the people who say we should not sell, [not] even their name,” Barry added.

PATEL said its planned action is aimed at drawing the attention of the government of Liberia to the unending challenges the business community face in Liberia.

In February of this year, PATEL staged a similar protest that led to several businesses in Monrovia and other parts to be closed.

Featured photo by Jefferson Daryoue

Jefferson Daryoue

Jefferson is the news director at Peace FM in Harbel. He is also a former student leader of the Margibi University Student Association at the University of Liberia.

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