Thirty-two vendors from Samaki market in Kampot province and the owner of stalls there have agreed to accept a four-point solution to end a long-running dispute over the ownership of market stalls.
Chum Sokunthea, an investor who serves as director of the market, told The Post on October 11 that the two sides had disputed ownership for eight years because vendors claimed the stalls they occupied belonged to them, while the owner, identified as Ly Huoy, claimed vendors rented the stalls but had not paid the rent for years.
The agreement came after provincial governor Cheav Tay lead a team on August 21 to mediate between the vendors and Huoy, who had filed a complaint in court suing them for occupying the stalls without paying a fee.
Following mediation in August, Tay handed over the work to Kampot town governor Leang Roeun Sothy to deal with the matter after both parties had agreed to accept the four conditions.
Roeun Sothy told The Post on October 11 that after the meeting, the two sides on October 9 agreed to accept the solution and thumbprint the conditions to end the dispute.
He added that in the four conditions, the fish vendors occupying the 32 stalls had to hand over $5,000 per stall, a total of $160,000, to Huoy through the Kampot town hall.
He said Huoy agreed to accept the money and unconditionally withdraw the civil complaint from the court to end the dispute.
The third condition was that Sokunthea, the stall owner, agreed to pay $2,500 to repair the roof of the fish market.
The Kampot town hall also issued certificates of ownership to the vendors.
“We solved this dispute so people can benefit together … This has been a long-running dispute and has been mediated many times, but there was no common ground. We hope that they will be satisfied with the solution.”
Sokunthea said he was happy that both sides had resolved the issue and accepted the solution voluntarily.
“I do not want to see them file a complaint. I want to see them agree to the solution, because in the past the dispute had been mediated many times but failed.”
According to Sokunthea, the market was established about 40 years ago and sells all kinds of products. The market is one of the largest in the province and currently has more than 200 stalls.