*Sensitizes market vendors of their rights and duties
*Strengthens ties between market vendors and the council
*Notes that the OPIC is always there to give them a listening ear
By Ikome Christie-Noella Eposi in Buea
Collaborating to reinforce understanding for the promotion and defence of rights and obligations of service users, the office of the public independent conciliator for the South West region has in a one day consultation seminar sensitized market vendors of their rights and duties and also reminded them of the obligations of the council to them.
While helping to strengthen ties with the market vendors and the council, the OPIC also used the seminar as an opportunity to sensitize the market vendors about the functions and missions of the office of the public independent conciliator and how the office is always ready to assist them or mediate in case they have any issues with the council.
Taking place at the O.I.C conference hall on Wednesday September 21 2022, the Public Independent Conciliator for the SW region, Telelen Dorothy Atabong epouse Motaze welcomed the various associations of market vendors and encouraged them to express their selves and what they think should be done as concerns the council’s relation with market vendors as well as their market space.
In the first presentation, Dr. Kole George explained that the office of the public independent conciliator seeks to look into the problems faced by people in communities. He added that OPIC has the power to protect the rights/freedom of people with their councils, to ensure no discrimination in any council or service and investigate the functions of regional council services.
“Every council worker has the moral obligation and responsibility to satisfy the people within that particular council area. They have to ensure that you market vendors operate your businesses with comfort and within the law. If they do not live up to their responsibility, you the market vendors have the right to complain to the office of the public independent conciliator and they will be there to support you” Dr. Kole told the various association heads of market vendors present for the seminar.
He encouraged the market vendors to make the OPIC as their second home because it is a peace office which is always available to mediate between market vendors and council authorities. While expressing their worries/challenges faced on a daily basis, the market vendors were enlightened on their rights and duties as well as the obligations of the council to the market vendors.
Talking to the press, the SW Public independent conciliator noted that her office organized the consultation seminar with market vendors to encourage them to go ahead and sensitize their fellow colleagues on the availability and functions of the office of the public independent conciliator. “We invited the executive of some of the different trades for us to discuss on the functions of this office and how important they are to this office. We are here to serve all users in the region, market vendors inclusively” she noted.
Prior to this consultation seminar with market vendors, it is important to highlight that the office of the public independent conciliator for the South West region on August 25 2022 organized a similar activity with civil society actors in the region to reiterate the functions of the office as well as strengthen ties with the CSO actors. In the days ahead OPIC intends to carry out similar activities with other associations and service users in the region.