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08.07.2005 General News

Investors scared by land-guard operations

GNA

Iron City (C/R), July 8, GNA - The Activities of armed land-guards within the past three years have put-off 16 potential investors to establish ventures at Iron City, near Kasoa, in the Central Region.

The investors included, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Social Investment Fund (SIF), and the Central Regional Development Company CEDECOM) among other enterprises.

Mr. Kweku Obeng-Mensah, Chairman of Iron City Central Mechanics and Spare Parts Dealers Association (CMSPDA) and 10 executive officers briefed the media at Iron City on Thursday.

He pointed out that the operation of the land guards was preventing thousands of skilled and unskilled youth from securing employment. Mr Obeng-Mensah said during the period land-guards in the area illegally destroyed structures worth more than 700 million cedis, constructed by investors who had been allocated plots for their investments.

He said that in some cases the land guards seized the tools and equipment of the investors and extorted huge sums of money from their victims before giving them back to them.

Land-guards had encroached and sold portions of the Iron City lands, which had been earmarked for health, education and market facilities as well as a Police Station.

Mr Obeng-Mensah stated that on June 18, this year, the leader of the land guards he named as Naa Wortey, also known as "Freeman", led his gang to demolish an industrial structure constructed by a Ghanaian investor.

He said they were transported to conduct their operation in a car with the registration number GW 3508 Q.

He praised the Kasoa Police for their efforts in maintaining peace in the area and appealed to the Commander expedite action in investigating the matter to ensure justice.

Mr. Alex Acquah said over the years the Association had exercised restraint in the face of provocation because they believed in the rule of law, good governance and social justice.

He said members of the Association were fully aware of the implications of confrontation, which often resulted in bloodshed and affected the economy.

Mr Obeng-Mensah said the situation, was getting worse and called on the Government and Parliament to initiate moves to curb the activities of land guards to ensure peace in the community. Mr Alex Acquah, Vice Chairman of the Association, stressed the need for the Government for assistance to fulfil its goals. Mr Alex Yankey, Risk Manager, said the objectives of the Association could not be realized if action was not taken to curb the activities of the land-guards.

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