Traders and shop owners who transact businesses in Bantama market within Kumasi in the Ashanti region have staged a protest against the authorities of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly ( KMA), for what they claimed to be unfair treatment on the part of the traders.
At a press conference held in Bantama and addressed by Mr. Agyeman Duah, a store owner and spokesperson for the traders, he indicated that the authorities of the KMA last year informed them of their intention to embark upon a demolition exercise in order to put up stores and shops which would be convenient to the traders and shop owners.
Mr. Agyeman Duah said during a meeting with KMA officials somewhere last year at the Prempeh Assembly hall in Kumasi, they were hinted by the metro engineer that when the market was fully redeveloped, a store which would be smaller in size than the existing ones would be re – allocated to the existing owner at a price of GH¢ 60,000.00, which according to the spokesperson for the traders and shop owners is so expensive and cannot afford.
According to Mr. Agyeman Duah, similar developments were done at Asawasi at a cost of GH 8,000.00 , Tafo market was priced at 20,000.00 so they as traders finds it extremely difficult and unacceptable to pay for the demanding amount of GH 60,000.00 per store when is fully completed.
The spokesperson hinted they were also shocked to hear from KMA authorities with the intention to carry out the market without any proper documentation between the shop owners and KMA which they think the metro engineer and his team wants to take them for a ride.
Mr. Agyeman Duah said most of the shop owners bought the shops way back in the year 1987 and have become owners so why paying such a huge amount to re occupy it.
The spokesperson hinted that authorities of KMA said they have less than one month to move for the contractor to start work. This, the traders said it’s going to affect their businesses since they have not been properly engaged as where to be relocated for the time being.
The spokesperson also said information gathered by them disclosed that KMA authorities has decided to move the traders and shop owners into wooden structures temporarily, which they the shop owners will resist because wooden structures are susceptible to fire and therefore going to put their businesses at a high risk.
The shop owners are therefore calling on the authorities of the KMA to have a proper documented agreement with the shop owners and the traders for a proper understanding of issues and relocate them to Acheamfour and the Adehyeman stores as a similar arrangement with the Kumasi Kejetia store owners.