Hundreds of shop owners and traders at the Kejetia transport terminal in Kumasi yesterday abandoned their wares and took to the streets to demonstrate against what they described as subtle attempts by the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr Kojo Bonsu, to have them dislodged from the station.
According to the traders, ever since the Kejetia Redevelopment Plan was reactivated, the KMA boss had consistently flouted directives from the Ashanti Regional Minister and gone ahead to register persons unknown to them.
They said they feared that after the redevelopment of the terminal, their shops and current places where they traded would be allocated to other people.
A number of the traders carried placards with inscriptions expressing their feelings. Some of the placards read, “Please show us the proposed site”, “We don’t want to be rostitutes and beggars on the street”, “4000 petty traders pay GH¢2 daily at Kejetia”, “Registration was for Kejetia traders, where from the Aliens?” “We agreed on biometric registration, why the change?” “ Asante is losing its Respect” and “KMA earns GH¢20,000 a day from Kejetia, why Brazil loan?”
This is the second time that the traders are demonstrating this year on the same matter, aside from the numerous press conferences and picketing they have held over time, urging either President Mahama or the regional minister to intervene in the impasse.
Parliament last year approved $298 million for the reconstruction of the Kumasi Central Market. On completion of the reconstruction project there will be over 10,000 shops, which is about twice the current number of shops in the terminal.
According to KMA, traders affected by the reconstruction works are to be located temporarily at the Adehyeman Gardens, the Royal Market and the Race Course.
Transport services are to be relocated to the Sofoline Interchange and the Abinkyi Lorry terminals.
The demonstrators, including young and elderly men and women, walked from the Kejetia Terminal to Kufuor Clinic and from there to the Ghana Prisons and onwards to Opoku Trading Centre. At this point, the demonstrators were kept away from the frontage of the KMA offices and the regional administration. Unperturbed, the demonstrators directed their route onto the Danyame Road and assembled in front of the offices of the Regional Coordinating Council where a petition was presented to a representative of the regional minister.