More than 2,000 artisans who have been operating on the Zone 19 portion of the Suame Magazine have been ejected.
The artisans, who are operating behind the Kumasi Wesley Girls Senior High School, and comprising auto mechanics, electric welders, electricians, upholsterers, blacksmiths, painters, among others, were ejected by armed policemen from the Buffalo Unit following a court order.
The Chairman of the Zone 19 Garages Association, Mr Kingsley Obeng Mensah, told the Daily Graphic that the family head of the Tafo Stool land offered that portion of land to the artisans to operate, some of whom had operated in the area for between eight and 29 years.
He said a few years ago, the Chief Executive of Kwasi Oppong Company, Mr Kwasi Oppong, hinted that he had acquired the land and, therefore, directed the artisans to relocate. According to him, Mr Oppong sent the case to a Kumasi High Court which ruled in his favour about eight months ago.
Explaining the circumstances leading to the ejection, Mr Oppong said it was undertaken legally because he had legal title to the land. Besides, all attempts to get the artisans to leave quietly failed, as they claimed the land had been given to them by the Tafohene.
He told the Daily Graphic that he acquired the land from the Lands Commission in 1993 and went ahead to secure a lease and building permits on it. While working on it as part of his company’s expansion programme, the then Tafohene, Nana Ponko Baffour, sent some people to destroy the work he had done.
Mr Oppong said even though he proceeded to show the chief all the papers covering the acquisition of the land, the chief would not budge and continued to allow artisans at the Suame magazine to operate on the land.
He said the chief took him to court over ownership of the land and in 1996 the High Court in Kumasi, in a ruling, restrained the chief and his assigns from entering the land.
Mr Oppong stated that in spite of the court's ruling, the artisans continued to raise structures on the land and anytime he enquired from them who authorised them to work on it, they mentioned the Tafohene.
Source: Graphic Business
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