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12.01.2007 Crime & Punishment

AMA Rocked By Bribery Scandal

By Michael Yeboah
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The allocation of places at the Pedestrians Shopping Mall at Odawna, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, has been suspended, pending investigations into allegations that some staff of AMA have taken bribes from some hawkers with the assurance of assigning them stalls at the market.
Consequently, a number of the aggrieved hawkers numbering about 100, on Wednesday blocked the main entrance of the AMA to register their displeasure. They attempted forcing their way into the premises but were prevented by the AMA security.
The Public Relations Officer of the AMA, Ali Abature, later in an interview with the Times said a committee had been set up to investigate the matter after which, the allocation of the stalls would resume, adding 'this is being done to protect the interest of the vulnerable workers.'
'We are privy to information that some individuals working here have taken various sums of money from the hawkers to secure them stalls at the Odawna market'.
He said the AMA has adequately explained the processes involved in the allocation of the stores to the hawkers and he wondered why some of them should be paying illegal money to individuals in order to acquire stalls.
Meanwhile, the AMA has affirmed the commencement of its decongestion exercise on January 15 and appealed to the hawkers for their maximum cooperation.
During the decongestion exercise the AMA will rid the streets of Accra, notably the Central Business District of hawkers, who are expected to re-locate to the new hawkers market at Odawna.