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20.10.2005 Regional News

MP, Swedruhene avert demonstration against ECG

By GNA
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Agona Swedru, Oct 20, GNA - The Swedruhene, Ogidigram Okrupi Asiedu Botwe II and the MP for Agona West, Mr Samuel Obodai, on Wednesday averted a planned demonstration against the Swedru branch of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) by some consumers for what they described as "unfair treatment and injustice".

The affected victims numbering 52 claimed that a taskforce from the ECG Loss Control Unit in Accra invaded their houses and removed their meters because they claimed were illegally acquired.

The removal of the meters in the surprise cross check resulted in some of the victims being asked to pay between 3.5 million cedis and 8million cedis.

This came to light when the Victims Association met the two personalities at Swedru to lodge their protest against what they called "inhuman treatment" meted out to them by ECG officials from Accra. Mr Ralph Botwe, Chairman of the Victims Association, told the Swedruhene and Mr Obodai that they planned to stage a peaceful demonstration against the company to present their petition to Mr Ben Mensah, District Chief Executive for Agona.

He said the activities of the Loss Control Unit was not fair and added that, the Company had infringed on their rights since the exercise had brought untold hardship on the affected consumers. Mr Botwe stated that some consumers had to sell their properties to pay because the taskforce threatened that their houses were going to be sold if they failed to pay fines imposed on them.

According to the Chairman he acquired his meter more than 10 years and said the monthly bill came in his name so he saw no justification for the action, adding that, all the victims were living in darkness. Mr Obodai said having listened to some of the victims had genuine cases and assured them that he would arrange to meet the Managing Director of ECG to find a lasting solution to the impasse.

When GNA contacted Mr Kwabena Duah, the Division Manager in Accra, confirmed that the Company had started such an exercise to arrest both staff and consumers who through illegal means acquired meters. He said the taskforce was able to arrest five staff and 9 ex-staff of the company who had given meters to certain consumers improperly and stated that they would face the full rigorous of the law. 20 Oct 05

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