The Ho Municipal Assembly has denied claims by the Ho Central Market Traders Association that it allocated market stalls on political basis, saying the distributions were done in accordance with a directive from a law court.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Prosper Pi-Bansa said in an interview in Ho on Friday that based on the court directive which was embraced by the traditional authorities, the assembly allocated 120 stalls to shop owners and 100 stalls to the Ho Central Market Traders Association.
According to him, the assembly was given the discretion to distribute the remaining 74 stalls on the basis of merit.
The MCE said that the assembly was yet to distribute those 74 stalls because there was a long list of other traders who had applied for stalls and deposited money for them since 2016, “and we need to look into that as well.”
He affirmed that the assembly was serious with plans to build more stalls for traders in response to the swelling number of traders in the municipality.
Members of the Ho Central Market Traders Association last week Wednesday expressed serious misgivings and anger over what they described as the fraudulent allocation of the new market stall on political basis by the municipal assembly.
At a press conference in Ho, the association called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to intervene in the matter as soon as possible to reverse the ‘protocol’ allocations.
“Otherwise, we shall take to the streets naked in a protest against the injustice inflicted on us by the assembly,” said Madam Christine Fansey, Assistant Market Queen of Ho.
However, Mr Pi-Bansa insisted that the stance taken by the association was baseless.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, he recalled that the association had earlier kicked against the assembly’s proposed monthly rent of GH¢25 per square metre, insisting that its members would pay only GH¢10 per square metre each month.
Mr Pi- Bansa revealed that members of the association also threatened to stop paying markets tolls to press home their demand for a reversal of the allocation of the stalls, but later apologised for their ‘unlawful’ action on April 29, this year.
He warned that the association had the authority to ‘strike out’ any tenant who refused to comply with the regulations of the market.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO