BY PHILIP ANTOH
FOLLOWING THE battle between Mallam Market Traders Association and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources over the ownership of a reclaimed portion of land at Mallam Market leading to the destruction of 185 bags of salt by armed soldiers last Thursday, the head of the Gbawe Kwatei Family and Dzasetse of Gbawe, Nii Adam Kwatei Quartey has broken his silence.
According to him, the Mallam Market is occupied by only two people – the Mallam Market Women Association and one Stanley Owusu.
Nii Quartey said the Mallam Market Traders Association is the only legitimate occupant and have documents to prove ownership of the land and that the family had not met with any institution or ministry over change of ownership.
He added that “as we speak; no institution, ministry or government agency has consulted the family for any portion of land or change of ownership of the reclaimed land at the Mallam Market.”
Speaking to the DAILY HERITAGE, the Dzasetse said, “nobody should disturb the market women,” because according to him the women have really suffered in reclaiming the land which was a waterlogged area.
History of the Mallam Market
Giving the history of the market, the head of family said the place was called Gbawe Clay Field in 1953 and was leased to Gold Coast Industrial Development Cooperation.
The Dzasetse revealed that in 1994, Gbawe Family gave the 13.45 acres of land at Mallam Market to the market women led by late Lydia Looye Commey and have ever since been paying royalties to the family until now.
On the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources taking ownership of the land, he said “we are not aware of any such transaction because no government can take possession of a land without first contacting the traditional rulers in the area.
“Even though we cannot fight the government, what we are asking is that they should follow due process of first calling on the owners of the land,” Nii Quartey stated.
The Secretary to the Gbawe Family, Nii Afutu Quartey called on the market women to remain calm, adding that nobody can take the land forcefully from them since there are genuine documents covering the land.
The leadership of the Mallam Traders Association is therefore calling on President Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately call the Minister of Sanitation and Resources, Mr Kofi Adda to order.
Responding to the allegation, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has stated on various media platforms that the government had secured the place for the construction of modern land fill site.
It would be recalled that the DAILY HERITAGE published a front page story on Monday February 19, 2018 captioned ‘Soldiers on Rampage at Mallam Market, Destroy 185 Bags of Salt and followed up on Tuesday with caption ‘Angry Traders Threaten Naked Demo, Over Destruction of 185 Bags of Salt by Armed Soldiers.’