General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
It appears the new Cape Coast Kotokuraba Market edifice will remain idle for a while longer as the political tussle over its allocation rages on between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central Region.
Market women have been left stranded for a long time, not getting access to stores, because of the many court cases challenging the allocation of the stores.
Earlier in the week, the NDC issued a statement saying the NPP is spreading “vicious propaganda” to “incite our grassroots especially Cape Coast youths, women and the market women against leadership of the NDC that the stalls, stores and other facilities in the newly constructed Kotokuraba market has been shared among NDC Regional executives, Cape Coast South Executives and Cape Coast North executives”.
The NDC is rather accusing the NPP’s Central Regional branch of abandoning the true list of persons who were allotted spaces at the market earlier presented to the court, alleging the NPP is now bent on sharing the facilities to its party faithful in Cape Coast.
In 2016, some aggrieved market women were granted a court injunction on the allocation, citing some irregularities in the allocation processes, after the then President John Dramani Mahama had inaugurated the market.
The defendants then were the immediate past Regional Minister and the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive.
Upon the exit of the NDC, the new Regional Minister and the current Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) Chief Executive, serving as defendants, asked the cart for an out-of-court settlement, which the court granted.
A new committee was constituted by the Assembly to do the allocations using the Assembly’s prepared list of allottees.
It is the current list that has generated the controversy, with various stakeholders threatening diverse actions to ensure that fairness in the allocation is done.
Speaking exclusively to Citi News, the Deputy Central Regional Chairman of the NDC, Sam George Wilberforce, warned, “I can see some trouble brewing at Cape Coast, but we pray that nothing untoward happens.”
“Do you know how it will feel to be an old occupant of an old market, only to be deprived when a new one is constructed?”, he queried.
He further lamented, “Professor (Atta) Mills ‘ was considered. His sister was given one shop as an appreciation for what the man did for us. They have taken that shop from her”.
Press Conference By Assembly Members
Meanwhile, some twenty-two members of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly have issued a stern warning to the Regional Minister and the Cape Coast Mayor over the matter in a press conference held at Cape Coast today, threatening the market complex could be doomed.
The group, calling itself Concerned Members of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly, stated among other things that the new committee’s work has “expunged the names of some legitimate tenants and has included people who are not sitting tenants, thereby contravening the court’s orders”.
They warn if the right thing is not done, the CCMA could be plagued by financial losses, court actions and confusion and conflict among the people of Cape Coast.
Some market women who were at the press conference spoke about how their businesses are being negatively affected by the impasse.