The Ashanti Regional Security Council has deployed a joint security team to the Kejetia market to assist officials of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) in the ongoing relocation of traders and drivers.
The personnel, comprising officers from the police, military, the Ghana National Fire Service, the Prisons and the Immigration Service are expected to augment the efforts of the group that is already overseeing the exercise.
The officers are expected to evict all petty traders and drivers from the market to the Racecourse terminal and other satellite markets within the metropolis.
The exercise, according to the Assembly, is aimed at decongesting the Central Business District and at paving the way for the completion of the redevelopment of the Kejetia bus terminal.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the KMA, Godwin Okumah Nyame told Citi News that the Assembly will be tough on recalcitrant traders and drivers.
“What informed this exercise was the observations have been made by the Ashanti Regional Security Council as far as the ongoing relocation exercise is concerned. So the Council, at its meeting last week, decided to help the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly by beefing up the number of personnel to enable us intensify the relocation exercise so that those traders who still sell on the streets and pavements will move to Racecourse and other designated satellite markets that they are supposed to move to,” he said.
Mr. Okumah Nyame also added that the transport unions are also supposed to relocate.
“We were using persuasion but now we want to use some kind of minimal force,” he added.
Some residents who spoke to Citi News want the exercise sustained.
“The decongestion exercise is better because it makes movement very easy for us. We want them to continue although people are complaining,” one resident said
“It is a good exercise because it makes the place look nice. I think that by the time they will finish with the construction Kumasi will be a very pleasant place to visit,” another resident added.
Don’t pay for allocation of shops at new Kejetia market
KMA had earlier stated that it was not collecting money from traders to secure spaces for them after the Kejetia redevelopment project is completed.
The Assembly in a statement said it would deal ruthlessly with persons caught extorting monies from traders.
“The Assembly wishes to make it clear to the public that no person, group of persons or organization, has been authorized to collect money on behalf of the KMA for the purposes of allocating stores to traders at Kejetia. The assembly will soon commence the validation of all traders and shop owners who were registered at the Kejetia Lorry Terminal, prior to the commencement of the ongoing redevelopment project.”
“Any trader, organization or group of persons who will be found involved in the alleged extortion of money from traders will be ruthlessly dealt with by the law,” the KMA said.