November 1, 2017 By Elizabeth A. Kaine
Traders at the popular King Jimmy market have expressed grave concern over what they described as ‘poor state of the facility.’
King Jimmy market is a significant historical edifice in the country as it used to be the last place of departure for freed slaves and has a foundation stone to that effect.
According to Rugiatu Sankoh, a trader with over 30 years’ experience at the market, the said monument is gradually dilapidating.
Giving a historical narrative of the market, Adama Kamara, vice chairlady at the King Jimmy market, said the market was where slaves were gathered before departure to Europe, but expressed frustration that the Freetown City Council (FCC) has completely abandoned the facility.
“You know we are neighbours with FCC, so quite often than not, they are here to collect dues from us without doing what is expected of them. I’m really disappointed in them,” she said.
She explained that pigs roam the market and often take away their wares, and scaring customers away.
“The market is not hygienic at all and nobody would like to buy food at a dirty place. Council is making a lot of money because even those that come from Kafu Bullom with their goods pay landing fees,” she said.
She said for the past ten years FCC has been promising to construct the market but to no avail, adding that the market lacks pipe borne water and stores, which forces some traders to return with their goods after the usual trade fare every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
“We are appealing to FCC to construct our market because they are the ones collecting our monies. Let them realise that the money they are collecting is for a particular purpose and that must be accomplished,” she said.
Kamara revealed that all the slabs at the market have been broken, hence the goods are place on the bare floor.
“We are appealing to the council to construct the market facility. Let everybody that is concerned hear our cry and come to our aid. We have been crying for the market for too long now,” she said.
In 2014, the Freetown City Council Chief, Franklyn Bode Gibson, assured the construction of a big scale market in the King Jimmy community in Freetown.
He also stated that the market would occupy 2.
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0 hectares of land with 200 shops and 1,024 vendor stalls with other offices.