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20.12.2006 General News

AMA Allocates Stalls At Shopping Mall

By Ghanaian Times
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Allocation of stalls and spaces at the 'Pedestrians Shopping Mall' at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, resumed on Monday after a three-week suspension.

The break was occasioned by a disagreement between the leadership of the two hawkers associations on one hand and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)on the other, over the lists to be used in the allocation.

The AMA on resumption of the allocation, is dealing directly with the hawkers and not the executives of the two associations, United Petty Traders Association and the Positive Traders Association.

To facilitate the process, the AMA has gone ahead to publish the lists submitted by executives of the two associations in the newspapers and insisted on the use of voters' identity card as the only authentic means of identifying and registering a prospective applicant.

During a visit to the AMA Headquarters yesterday, the Times found a sizeable number of the applicants registering for stalls or spaces.

The Mayor of Accra, Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, in an interview told the Times that the lists presented by the associations were found to be overbloated and "we need to clean them to ensure transparency."

He attributed the situation to the "selfish and uncooperative attitudes" of some executives of the associations whom he alleged had "collected millions of cedis from people with the hope that they can force the AMA to register them.

"Can you imagine that long after the final submission of the original lists they wanted me to add another list, and also insisted on the use of their membership identity cards?" he asked. "That is why we are restricting the whole process to the use of only voters' ID cards which idea has so far worked to perfection."

He said the market was solely funded by the government and nobody could claim to have 'divine right" over it.

Ali Baba Bature, Special Assistant to the Mayor, who is supervising the exercise said as at 12 noon, 242 people "have been allocated stalls".

He said the AMA had published the names of 5,000 prospective applicants and will ensure that the stalls are allocated to the right people. "The only problem we have encountered so far is impersonation," he added.

Some of the applicants the Times spoke to expressed different opinions about the exercise.

Ama Serwaa, 35, Samuel Kwaku Addo, 40, and Doris Akakpo, 28, all commended the AMA for being transparent in the allocation.

Akakpo, who operates at the Rawlings Park area said that she did not anticipate getting the stall so quickly after what happened on the day the exercise was suspended, saying "the AMA has restored my hope of making it in life."

Kwasi Mintah, 32, and Grace Afful 33, said they duly registered but could not find their names, in the lists published.

Mintah said he was disappointed at the AMA's decision not to use the ID cards of the various associations adding, "it will cause a lot of inconvenience for most of the members."

However, Perpetual Asante, an executive of the Positive Traders Association said "the exercise is fair. We are happy with it."

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