The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) says the allocation of spaces and shops at the Kejetia Market has been done transparently.
It said from the very beginning, the KMA had cooperated with the relevant stakeholders, especially traders, regarding the allocation.
The KMA’s reaction followed claims of non-transparency levelled against the assembly by some traders regarding the allocation of spaces at the market.
At a news conference in Kumasi last Monday, the traders demanded the immediate occupation of the shops, saying some of their members could no longer return to the temporary trading points at various locations in town following strict law enforcement by the city authorities.
They also asked the KMA to allow them to pay 20 per cent of the cost of the stores and the rest spread over a period of time without any interest.
They further demanded the release of allocation documents to all central market traders as a matter of urgency.
However, in a press statement issued later the same day, the KMA stressed that the assembly and the traders had had fruitful collaboration regarding how the traders would be moved to the Kejetia Market in a peaceful atmosphere in the supreme interest of the transformation of Kumasi.
“For instance, just last week, during a meeting between the KMA and the traders, it was agreed that lawyers of the traders and the KMA should meet and work out modalities concerning the payment plan for shops at the Kejetia Market for the mutual benefit of the two parties,” the statement said.
The statement said, “these aforementioned groups made some requests, including their desire to immediately occupy the shops; payment of 20 per cent of the cost of the shop and to settle the rest later on; and that the KMA should speed up the release of allocation documents to traders”.
“The assembly is utterly shocked at the sudden U-turn of the Kejetia traders, Concerned Central Market Traders Association and the 11-member steering committee for organising an unexpected press conference to criticise us,” the KMA said.
The assembly said it was committed to seeing to it that the Kejetia Market started full operations.
“The assembly has worked at lightning speed to issue 5,799 allocations to traders, which represents 70 per cent of the total number of traders. Also, out of the 5,799 traders who have received their allocation documents, 1,227 have made some payments (commitment fee) ranging from one per cent to 100 per cent.
“Some of these traders, whose payments are significant, have received keys to their shops,” the statement added.
It said the traders’ fresh request to be allowed to pay 20 per cent premium and the rest spread over a period of time without interest was new to the KMA.
“The KMA sees the traders as our major partners; therefore, this new request would be forwarded to the board for its consideration”.