The Kumasi City Markets Limited (KCML) has announced an extension of the reopening of the Kejetia Market Complex, which was gutted by fire last week Wednesday.
According to a statement signed by the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of KCML, Nana Agyenim-Boateng I, the non-affected area of the facility is to remain closed for a further one week, effective Monday March 20, 2023.
It said, however, that the affected area would be closed indefinitely until, otherwise, advised by assessment experts.
The Board explained that there was the need to assess the electro-mechanical and other safety installations, as well as the structure integrity of the affected area, before patrons are granted access to the facility.
The market was temporarily closed down for four days by the Managing director of KCML, following the fire outbreak last Wednesday.
But the KCML Board has directed that the market should remain closed for a further one week for proper assessment of the situation.
However, the Combined Traders Association of Kumasi City markets at Kejetia, comprising representatives of Traders Board, the Kejetia Traders Association, Concerned Central Market Traders Association, Kejetia Petty Traders Association, Kejetia Traditional Caterers Association, Eleven Member Steering Committee, KCTU, the Federation of Kumasi Traders, Eleven member Steering Committee, LBG and the Kejetia Tenants Association has kicked against the decision by the Kumasi City Market Board of Directors to extend the reopening of the market for another one week period.
In a statement jointly signed by the executives of the association, it categorically stated that members vehemently disagree with the decision and that they would not allow themselves to be taken for granted.
The joint traders association said their position is premised on the fact that the KCML Board is insensitive about their plight, as their source of livelihood is affected.
The association has, therefore, threatened to defy the directives for extension, stating “We will not accept the further one week closure”.
The traders reminded the Board of its inability to address various issues brought to its attention over the years, stating that given a full year the Board would not be able to help address the situation.
They suspected that the Board is treating the Board chairman and the Managing Director with kids gloves for reasons best known to it, and called for their removal before any negotiations regarding the plight of affected traders in particular and the over 8,000 traders occupying the facility are considered.
The executives of the joint association have, therefore, called on all traders and transport operators to come to work tomorrow, Monday March 20, 2023 in disregard of the directive of the KCML Board.
“No one should stay at home. Everyone should come along with red bands”, the association directed.
The GNA, meanwhile, reports that the government will provide financial assistance to all the victims of the new Kejetia fire disaster in Kumasi, for them to restart their businesses.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia announced this during a visit to the market on Monday morning. The Vice President was at the market, together with other high ranking government officials, to inspect the extent of damage caused by the fire, which ravaged parts of the market on Friday, March 17.
A total of 33 shops were affected during the outbreak and merchandise worth millions of cedis destroyed.
Dr Bawumia said preliminary investigations by the Ghana National Fire Service indicated that the fire was not caused by an electrical fault, but rather a gas explosion which emanated from the shop of one of the traders, who was cooking food at the time.
He praised the personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for the swift response, which helped to control the spread of the fire.
The Vice President said the government was concerned about the plight of the affected traders and would do everything to support them to restart their businesses for them to contribute to the growth and development of the country.