Three traders Associations,: transport unions, petty traders and kejetia traders Association in the Kumasi metropolis have described an ongoing registration exercise at the Kejetia market by the KMA as “scam and scamp” due to the flagrant disregard of the mutually agreed laid down processes to peaceful resolution by the Mayor, Kojo Bonsu.
The traders also described the registration exercise as “,highly despicable, regimental and undemocratic”.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly last year after a spate of fire outbreaks in some markets decided to carry out extension works in the central market in an effort to ease congestion in the various markets in the metropolis and to avert possible recurrences.
The KMA therefore decided to embark on a demolition exercise of the central market including the kejetia Bus Terminal; a situation which has become a major misunderstanding between the KMA and the traders.
Since then the KMA has been met with explosive resistance from the traders who feared they might lose their spots in the process.
It would be recalled that on 25 March this year, the traders staged a street protest against the Metropolitan Chief Executive to press home their demands.
The demonstration prompted an emergency meeting between the traders and the KMA including the acting Ashanti regional minister, Hon. Eric Opoku.
In the said meeting, it was accepted that both KMA and the traders should form a working/ steering committee to oversee the registration of every living being at kejetia in order to ascertain the number of people plying their trade at Kejetia which will eventually form the bases for any future negotiation.
However, in a joint communique, Monday 11, May the union groups accused the KMA boss of assuming a dictatorship posture and inhuman face in dealing with the case.
“Before this agreement with the Regional Minister could materialized, Honourable Kojo Bonsu initiated a “u turn” and brought in Armed Police and Military men to register the people of Kejetia at gun point, starting from the Registration of petty Traders”.
Honourable Kojo Bonsu does not want to listen to anybody not even the regional minister simply because the project is a must do project and secondly it must be done at all cost even at the cost of unemployment, lost of capital, collapse of businesses, general hardship, street congestion, prostitution, destitution, pickpocketing”.
According to Mr. Kwabena Obeng, chairman of Kejetia Traders Association, the unions have observed that the KMA is only engaging in a vicious attempt to render the traders redundant.
They also said Hon. Kojo Bonsu unflinching interest in the project is to amass booty for himself.
They continued that the current ongoing registration exercise is fake in all form and shape and only intend to beguile and diddle the traders.
“The registration team is made of corrupt KMA errand boys who sometimes demand monies from some vulnerable petty Traders before Registration.
According to the statement, ” the registration we agreed with the regional minister was supposed to be unconditional and must capture every living being plying his or her business at Kejetia but the one currently taking place is based on discrimination, nepotism”.
The statement added that the KMA is issuing an I.D card to petty traders at amount of Gh200. They said the KMA is only registering “aliens” and rich individuals.
The traders are therefore humbly demanding the immediate intervention of the government to “proper implementation of things in order to keep sleeping dogs asleep”.