A scene from the Obuasi Central Market in April

Traders at the Kumasi central market are threatening a day’s boycott of trading in protest of what they claim to be their relocation with adequate accommodation arrangement.

The city authority has accused the traders of failing to move to designated areas to pave way for the second phase of the market redevelopment project.

But the traders are unhappy with the planned demolition of structures without adequate alternatives for them to trade.

leaders of the traders

Leadership of the traders explains the city authorities are not treating them fairly.

“We have met with them, and we are waiting for their feedbacks, but unfortunately they keep tossing us and give excuses.

We have realized they are lying to us so we just need the authority to come to our aid. We are also Ghanaians, if this happens in other regions, they go quickly to respond.”

Their boycott will mean, the KMA will lose millions of money in the form of internally generated funds, majority of which comes from the markets.

marked areas in the market for demolition

An observation in the market revealed that, red polythene sheets are tied around the roof of some shops.

These are accompanied by red-marked arrows in different directions suggesting the lanes to be affected by the next demolition.

But traders who were present when the markings were done say no explanations were given.

“They pasted these signs two weeks ago but told us nothing. They want us to leave but no allocation has been made for us,” one of the traders explain.

Between the first marking and the other ones are table-top traders and those in stalls.

Some worried traders

All these traders claim they have had no communication on their relocation.

Another said, “I haven’t received anything, they just marked the shops but received no information from them.”

“All of a sudden, none of the satellite markets have been completed so where do they intend to take us. I for instance cannot trade on the streets because I own a stall here,” another complained that the allocated area is meant for those trading on the streets.

Other traders to be affected by the relocation are trading close to the demarcated area.

Leadership of the traders have been going round the market mobilizing their members for a protest in the week ahead.

General Secretary for City Market Traders Union, Richard Boamah Tawiah

General Secretary for City Market Traders Union, Richard Boamah Tawiah says they will embark on a day’s sit-down strike.

”Yes, we know KMA is going to lose their revenues, but then if it continues, after that, we will give them few days and if nothing is done about it, we are going to go a whole week sit-down strike.

And we are even prepared to do more if nothing is done about it.”

According to him, it is the foodstuff sellers who the mayor claimed they have allocated Racecourse for them.

Mr Boamah says they will only move if city authorities meet them with a favorable plan.

“…But these are people who are in stalls so when you barricade the place, these are people who are in the midst of stalls, so how do you expect those in the stalls to go about their trading?

We are not stopping them (KMA and contractors) from anything. They have not relocated any place for those trading in stalls and that is our worry.”

The traders plan to continue their protest until city authorities pay heed to them.