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16.04.2008 General News

Political expediency fuels hawking

By myjoyonline
Political expediency fuels hawking


The nagging problem of street hawking in the country's major cities and towns is being fuelled by political expediency.

The debilitating aloofness and ambivalence on the part of decision makers has allowed the practice to go on unabated.

Some street hawkers who spoke to Joy News' Evans Mensah were unequivocal in their assertion that they were left there because of the December elections.

They openly declared their support for the New Patriotic Party believing they will be allowed to flagrantly violate the law and make a mess of the streets if the NPP wins.

While pedestrians, shop and vehicle owners reel under the inconvenience caused by the activities of the hawkers the issue does not appear bother city authorities and the government.

A shop owner at Knustford Avenue in the Central Business who could not bear the agony of having to wade through a swarm of hawkers to reach his store took the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to court over the matter.

Mr Labib C. Seraphim sought an order from the court to compel the AMA to decongest the area.

After spending billions of cedis on the decongestion exercise, and building hawkers market, the traders are back on the streets doing brisk business.

Mr. Seraphine vented his frustrations speaking to Joy FM. He said his property had rendered useless because prospective tenants complained they would have difficulties accessing their offices and shops should they rent his place.

He accused the AMA of contempt of court.

He confirmed to Joy News that he went back to court this week praying the court to impose heavy fines on the AMA and commit its Chief Executive Stanley Nii Adjiri Blanson to jail.

He said the AMA and its CEO had failed to discharge their obligations by evicting hawkers from Knustford Avenue and provide vehicular access to his stores.

Responding to the issues, a Deputy Local Government Minister, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Gyumah said moving the hawkers off the streets was a difficult task.

He blamed the problem on city planners saying they had failed to make provision for hawkers while planning the cities.

Mr. Gyumah called for an all inclusive approach to solving the problem.

Story by Malik Daabu

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