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Traders threaten five-day protest over abandoned Kejetia Market redevelopment project

Traders from the Kumasi Central Market and Second-hand Clothes Traders Union have threatened a five-day continuous protest if work is not resumed on the second phase of the Kejetia redevelopment project.

The project, which was halted in December 2022, saw construction firm Contracta discontinuing works on the site. The aggrieved trade groups cite the country’s debt restructuring programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the reason for the halt.

Despite promises from the government to resume construction after receiving the first tranche of the US$3 billion IMF bailout, the project remains stalled, with the site now overgrown with weeds and inhabited by reptiles.

“We patiently waited and despite the first and the second tranches hitting the government account, work has still not resumed, leaving the project to the mercy of the weather,” a statement from the trade groups read.

The traders express disappointment that while projects in other regions have begun or been completed after the IMF tranches, the NPP government has neglected the region and abandoned their market.

Majority of the traders are currently without trade after being evacuated for the construction, while others struggle to find space in the Central Business District.

“We feel utterly disappointed in the NPP government for ignoring and neglecting such a huge market complex that feeds many traders who depend on market business to make ends meet,” the statement added.

The groups are in the process of securing a permit from the police for their intended industrial action. During the protest, they plan to picket and remove all barricades around the project. If their demands are not met after the protest, they vow to storm the incomplete market site with their goods and commodities to trade.

“We are, therefore, sending a signal to the NPP government that we, the traders in the Ashanti region are vigilant this time round, and they cannot fool or deceive us and later come back to canvas for our votes as the December general elections are approaching. The NPP government must do the needful before the day of reckoning comes,” the statement concluded.

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