Ho central Market Traders are gnashing their teeth in anger at the management of the Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA) for using funds meant for the construction of the market to pay out judgment debts.
They are demanding explanation and threatening to hit the street to express their displeasure against what they termed misplaced priority.
A highly placed source at the corridors of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) disclosed to this paper that the regional minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, has been tasked to put pressure on the assembly to find money to replace what was used to pay Mr. Tommy Amematekpor as judgment debt.
Speaking to your authoritative paper on the sidelines after an emergency meeting at Ho, a trader who pleaded anonymity for fear of intimidation and harassment said the management of the assembly diverted GH¢500,000 of the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (GUMPP) fund to pay judgment debt to Mr. Amematekpor, a former special assistant to ex-president J. A. Kufuor.
The source indicated that due to such act on the part of the assembly, the central market project and other projects namely abattoir and landfill engineering site has stalled, which is an embarrassment.
The Ho Municipal Assembly was among four Metropolitan Assemblies namely Tamale, Sekondi/Takoradi and Kumasi to benefit from the GUMPP project, which was sponsored by the French Government and was lunched with fun fare at Ho in April 2012.
The projects were to be completed within 18 months, but as at the time of filing this report the three metropolitan assemblies have completed and handed over the projects.
The Ho project is, however, about 75% (per cent) complete due to negligence by management of the assembly.
Reports and facts gathered by this reporter indicated that the judgment debt came as a result of stoppage of work on a parcel of government land located opposite Ho Court Complex and behind Nigeria flat sold to Mr. Amematekpor by the Land Commission while the NPP was in government between 2001 and 2008.
He was putting up a structure but in 2009 when the NDC took over the governance of the country the assembly had to stop the work and demand permit.
Mr. Amematekpor was not happy with this development and dragged the assembly to a Human Rights court in Accra.
The assembly failed to appear in court and judgment was pronounced in his favour. The assembly filed an appeal but again failed to show up in court and judgment again was delivered in Amematekpor’s favour.
The Assembly last month allegedly paid the judgment debt with the GUMPP funds, which subsequently stalled work on the project.
According to the traders, if nothing is done quickly to solve the impasse government stands to lose assistant in any form from the French Government.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Nelson Akorli, when contacted debunked the allegation saying they are working hard to get the projects completed.
By Vandyck Asante