By Yankuba Jallow
Street vendor, Ousman Gaye was found stranded along the Mamadi Manjang Highway on Wednesday, 23 August 2023 after municipal police of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) seized his goods and threw the rest in the mud.
The incident happened between 10:30 am and 11 am.
Ousman sells internal decoration stuff for vehicles and house vehicle sprays.
Eyewitnesses, who were present at the time of the incident, were found consoling Ousman. They described the action of the KMC police as unreasonable.
The reporter spoke to at least ten (10) people who said they witnessed the incident. At the time of arrival of the reporter, he heard one of them saying “Let’s leave the media is here” and that was how they left.
The bystanders all gave the same narration that Ousman was standing in that bushy area holding his stuffs for sale. Drivers would stop and buy from him things they need. Gaye was standing and suddenly the vehicle from KMC appeared before him and the municipal police rushed to him.
“They took my things forcefully and threw it in their vehicle. They threw the others in the mud,” Ousman Gaye said.
The eyewitnesses all confirmed this statement as it happened in their presence.
“I was telling them that I am ready to go with them to anywhere they want to take me to, but they would not listen to me,” Ousman said.
Ousman claimed that he lost over Fifty Thousand Dalasis (D50,000) worth of goods in the process.
The place Ousman was found standing was near the rice fields along the Mamadi Manjang Highway. One of the eyewitnesses is a rice farmer, who said he witnessed everything and cannot speak because he was shocked after witnessing what happened. About twenty (20) minutes later, he was able to explain the whole scenario.
Sainey Sanyang, the person who led the municipal police team was contacted and he also gave his version of the story. Sanyang said he has been advising Ousman Gaye, who he described as a Senegalese, to stop selling along that highway.
“He [Ousman Gaye] wants to make that place a market place. It is a public highway and he is not supposed to be selling there,” he said.
Sanyang stressed that they have been impounding Gaye’s goods, but he is adamant, hence, the reason for the arrest. Sanyang said on Wednesday, 23rd August 2023, he came with his team to arrest Ousman but he resisted arrest. He added that it was the reason why they took his goods. Sanyang would not answer the question whether he and his team of security threw Ousman Gaye’s goods in the mud.
The eyewitnesses all said the municipal police threw Gaye’s goods in the mud.
The other reason Sanyang gave was that the road is under construction. Asked whether he will return Ousman Gaye’s properties, Sanyang said he received a call from someone, who appealed on his behalf.
“I will give him the goods tomorrow [today, Thursday],” Sanyang said.
He added: “Our interest is let him stop making the place a market place.”