It’s been a heated Tuesday morning filled with anguish and desperation for hundreds of artisans who lost their sources of livelihood to an eviction by city authorities in 2013, for the development of a shopping mall at Tanokrom, a suburb of Takoradi.
The artisans and other traders who suffered the eviction had hit the N1 highway, just along the Takoradi Shopping Mall [which is nearing completion], chanting war songs and waving placards with some incriminating statements against the Member of Parliament for Effia, Joseph Cudjoe, Former MCE for Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis, Captain. Rtd. Richard Anthony Cudjoe, and a Regional Representative of the Council of State, Mrs Alberta Cudjoe.
“Hon. Joseph Cudjoe, where is the title documents on the Kansaworado-Mampong Land, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe?” “Na yen compensation no wo hen?” “No Compensation, No Takoradi Mall Opening.” “Any Company that patronises the Takoradi Mall is condoning human rights abuses.” “Takoradi Mall Ltd has orphaned many children by killing their parents, How many Artisans is Takoradi Mall Ltd going to kill for profits?”, some of the placards read.
The affected artisans, numbering over three thousand were forcefully evicted from their operational zone by the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) following a court order to get all occupants of the area from the land.
Some parcels of land at Kansaworodo-Mampong have since been released by city authorities for redevelopment for the artisans. Unfortunately, only a few [about a dozen] have moved to the area. The vast majority are yet to move onto the land.
However, some issues remain. Sources say the landholders are yet to be paid the agreed sums of money for releasing the land. An Abusuapanin (family head) for the Kansaworodo Traditional Council, Abusuapanin Abowonda told Skyy News only five thousand Ghana cedis of the monies owed them has been paid by the city authorities.
Just recently, in the height of several agitations by aggrieved artisans over an unlawful collection of fees by the Chairman of the Western Region Garrages Association, Kwamena Kwadze, for survey works on the land, it was established by the then MCE for STMA Captain. Rtd. Cudjoe that all compensations and fees for the redevelopment of the new site have been duly paid by the developer for the Takoradi Mall.
This was corroborated by a statement by the Public Relations Officer for the Takoradi Mall Project, Nhyirab Paa Kwesi Simpson, which stressed that the developer has paid all entitlements to the city authority, and thus owe no one a duty or responsibility.
The revelation has triggered an uprising among the affected artisans, who feel they have been exploited.
Convener for the aggrieved artisans, Aboagye Boampong told Skyy News the protest shall continue to the presidency, until some favourable response is given them regarding their compensations and other entitlements.
Story: Abraham Mensah/Skyy News