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The Informer
1st March 2011, 11:08 PM
Second-hand shoe sellers in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi are fuming with anger over plans to destroy their sheds for the construction of a stall complex in the area.

With the assistance of highly-placed officials at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), one Samuel Kofi Boateng has vowed to demolish the sheds of the shoe sellers to enable him build a stall complex in the area.

The over 3,500 second-hand shoe sellers, who operate at the railways arena of the Central Business District (CBD) of the city in about 230 sheds, have legally occupied the said area for a many years.

Mr. Boateng, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the region, has served as the interim chairman of the Ashanti regional branch of the Second Hand Shoe Sellers Association for over 20 years though he is not a shoe seller.

The shoe sellers association co-opted Mr. Boateng, originally a corned beef seller at the Central market, to serve as its interim chairman because of his strong links with the then Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) under the leadership of President Rawlings.

Because the association wanted to please Mr. Boateng, they gave him three sheds so that he could intervene any time the then Kumasi City Council, under the then chairmanship of Nana Akwasi Agyeman, decided to demolish their sheds.

When their fear of being evicted from the area was put to rest, the association allowed Mr. Boateng to continue to serve as the interim chairman without organizing any election.

Realizing the vulnerability of the association, Mr. Boateng, upon the assumption of office of the Mills administration, allegedly maneuvered and got the support of the KMA to construct a stall complex in the area.

Mr. Boateng, Daily Guide has learnt, wrote a letter to the association, indicating that he had been given the green light to construct a stall complex in the area, hence the sheds would be demolished by the end of October 2010.

Sensing danger, the association consulted its lawyer and the matter was taken to a High Court in Kumasi on September 8, 2010. They prayed the court to grant an order restraining Mr. Boateng from going ahead with the planned demolition exercise.

After carefully studying the merits and demerits of the matter, the court, presided over by Justice Eric Baah on January 18, 2011 granted the order restraining Mr. Boateng from going ahead with his action on the grounds that he could not take a unilateral decision without the consent of the members of the association.

Mr. Boateng caused a stir when he wrote another letter indicating that he was not pleased with the verdict of the court and that no matter the prevailing circumstances he would go ahead with his intended action.

The association held a press conference on Friday, noting that they would cause mayhem if Mr. Boateng disregards the court order and goes ahead to demolish their sheds.

The spokesperson of the aggrieved shoe sellers, Owusu Afriyie, said they were fully convinced that the construction of the stall complex in the area was a subtle way of evicting them from area.

This, according to them, was because there was no way they would be given some of the stalls to run their business, a development which will keep them out of business and burden their dependents.

“We can not allow the stall complex to be constructed because after the completion, they sell it out to people who have huge sums of money and we the original occupants would be left out,” Mr. Owusu stressed. “We cannot allow the construction of the stalls particularly because we do not fathom why as members of the association we were not consulted before the decision was taken.”

The spokesperson emphasized that the construction of the stalls would have affect their finances for the reason that most of the members have bought the sheds at high cost and therefore needed to time to work to pay off the debt.

He announced that the members have agreed to pass a vote of no confidence in Mr. Boateng, stressing that it would be illegal for him to hold himself as interim chairman of the association.

Mr. Owusu said apart from not holding elections to elect a chairman, Mr. Boateng has failed to account for funds of the association entrusted to him over the years.

He pleaded with President Mills to personally intervene to stop the construction of the stalls to avert any bloodshed since the members have sworn to fight with their blood to save their businesses.



Source: daily guide

CuTiEbABy
3rd March 2011, 05:11 PM
hmmmm.....smh....if the stalls will be allocated back to the original owners, it would have been a laudable idea for it to be built but like the sellers rightly said.....they will not see wind of it once completed.

And why does the said Mr. Boateng feel that he is above the laws of the nation and so he can go against the court orders........ooohhhhh Ghana........hmmmmm