Business News of 2014-02-17

Kumasi petty traders displaced

About 1,000 petty traders, mostly women, operating at the Adehyeman Gardens, near Kejetia in the central business district (CBD) of Kumasi, lost their sources of livelihoods when their shops, stalls and kiosks were demolished at dawn on Sunday.

The traders, looking miserable and bewildered, were seen wailing and cursing those who had carried out that act.

The land where the Adehyeman Gardens is situated is government property, but the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has denied any involvement in the demolition exercise.

Private developer

Some of the traders who spoke to the Daily Graphic said the demolition exercise began at midnight and was completed at dawn on Sunday.

According to some of the women, one Nana Osei Tutu, who claims ownership of the land, had filed a suit against the traders in court in August 2013 to demand his land.

They said the court had adjourned the case to March this year and so they were at a loss as to how the man allegedly took the law into his hands to do such damage to their properties.

KMA denies knowledge

They blamed the KMA for the demolition exercise, but Mr Kojo Bonsu, the Chief Executive of the KMA, denied any prior knowledge of the exercise.

On hearing of reports of the demolition, Mr Bonsu quickly went to the site, in the company of newsmen, to have first-hand knowledge of the exercise.

He told the traders that the KMA knew nothing about the exercise and assured them that it would make every effort to get to the bottom of the matter.

"If even the court has given its ruling, the KMA, being the political authority in the metropolis, should have known,” he said, and expressed worry at the plight of the traders.

He said there were laws operating in the metropolis and, therefore, no individual could take the law into his or her hands.