Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

KMA terminates contract with Freko

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has decided to discharge Freko FD Enterprise from the management of the Kejetia Bus Terminal in Kumasi.
This follows what the KMA terms as the expiration of terminal management agreement between it and Freko FD Enterprise.
Freko FD has been managing the bus terminal, deemed the biggest in the entire country since 2002.
A letter dated July 15, 2009 and signed by Mr Edward Afari Gyem, the Metropolitan Coordinating Director asked Freko to prepare and hand over the facility to the KMA latest by Wednesday July 22, 2009.
“Our records indicate that the Bus Terminal Management Agreement signed between the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and Freko FD Enterprise for the management of the Kejetia Bus Terminal was effected on 11th April 2002 for a duration of three (3) years and a renewal period of two (2) years”, the letter stated.
“We therefore wish to inform you that the agreement has expired and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly will be very grateful if you would as a matter of urgency, arrange to hand over the management of the Bus Terminal to the Assembly latest by the 22nd of July 2009. We wish to take the opportunity to thank you for your services rendered to the Assembly”, it said.
A new company is to take over the management of the lorry terminal but it is not clear, which company is to take over.
Freko won the bid to manage the terminal in 2002 after the World Bank, which financed the project had handed it over to the KMA during the tenure of Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah as the Metropolitan Chief Executive.
The company has since maintained a harmonious relationship with the GPRTU whose vehicles dominate the terminal.
However in a response to the KMA’s letter, Freko FD stated that there were a lot of legal implications and transitional matters that out to be ironed out before a hand over.
They called on the KMA to reconsider the period of the notice in the light of the forgoing agreement arguing that, it required a reasonable notice to terminate the contract as per the general law of Ghana.
In a response letter through their solicitors, Dadson and Associates the company explained that the “continuing” term in the agreement was defined as the period immediately following the expiration of the agreement when the agreement has not been expressly renewed or terminated.
It explained that the agreement shall therefore be deemed to continue in force under the existing terms and conditions and even if the KMA decides in its sole discretion to terminate the agreement, it ought to have given Freko a six (6) calendar months notice.
They explained that in the circumstance of the KMA’s notice, it was instructive to note that even where they were to breach the agreement (which was not the case) the self-same agreement stipulates a notice period of at least three (3) months to terminate the agreement.
It also stated that it ought to be noted that the agreement expressly frowns upon unilateral amendment of the terms and therefore expressed the hope that the intention of the KMA was not to unilaterally vary or modify the agreement.
“Accordingly, you are respectfully called upon to reconsider the period of the notice in the light of the forgoing and revert”, it said.
It said in accordance of the Labour Act of Ghana, it was equally duty-bound in law to statutorily notify its employees of the termination of their employment and that was one of the several complications that attend the duration of the notice.
On the history of the agreement, Freko stated that the KMA has set up an oversight committee which was to review the contract and evaluate its performance with the baseline data to assist the Assembly in deciding the way forward of the management of the terminal.
It said a performance appraisal was commissioned and the report was ready for submission to the Assembly for deliberation.
It said from the forgoing, it appeared that an attempt was being made to shelve the report from the Assembly that commissioned it.
“In doing so, the Assembly is thereby denied the opportunity to evaluate the report. Such a unilateral decision by a public officer offends not only the constitutional requirement that the use of discretion by a public officer be not arbitrary, capricious or biased either by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and shall be in accordance with due process of law”.
“In the light of the foregoing and many more concerns as to the other infractions of the law occasioned or threatened by your letter, we hope that your letter will be reviewed and a meeting arranged between us with a view to ironing out these legal and transitional matters and concerns to the best interest of the metropolis and the parties involved.
It would be recalled that in giving out the management of the lorry terminal to a private company, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, the then Metropolitan Chief Executive explained that the management of the lorry terminal was going to be on contract basis and gave a long list of what was to be expected at Kejetia.
This included the registering of special potters at the place and clothing them for easy identification, a thorough cleaning and monitoring of the infrastructure at the place as well as routine maintenance of the infrastructure.
Aside the deteriorating nature of the place currently is the present crop of vehicular congestion at the place.
The government decided to rehabilitate the lorry terminal in the late 90s with the intention to find a lasting solution to the problem of the heavy pedestrian population, which competed with vehicular traffic resulting in the confusion in the area as a result of the heavy “go-slow” that engulfed the area then and sprang to the centre of Kumasi.
The idea was to find a solution to the problem once and for all whilst at the same time maintain the natural beauty of the area, thereby separate the market, and the cars from the pedestrian.
It looks as if the problem that existed at the place earlier has been allowed to repeat itself with the construction of more market stores at the place thus limiting parking and loading points for vehicles.
There is congestion all over the place at Kejetia presently as vehicles struggle to get access to the terminal, which temporarily block traffic to Adum, Ashanti New Town and Manhyia creating confusion at the place.
The managers were to ensure that hawking was not entertained at the place but the direct opposite of what was outlined is being experienced at the place currently.

Monday, July 20, 2009

80 houses to go down in Kumasi. As KMA commence demolition of houses on waterways

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) last Friday commenced an exercise to demolish 80 unauthorised buildings sited on watercourses, in order to stop what authorities described as human-induced flooding in the city.
On the first day of the operation, bulldozers pulled down 26 unauthorised buildings said to be on the course of the Owabi River at Kronum Kyekyire. Forty-four other houses have been earmarked for demolition in the same area but the authorities are still vetting permits provided by the property owners.
Kumasi has had its share of the heavy rains which resulted in flooding in many parts of the country.
Three members of a family of four died at Kronum Kyekyire when their house collapsed on them following flooding after a downpour.
In addition to that property worth thousands of Ghana cedis was destroyed in the area as a result of flooding.
Although some of the residents whose buildings were demolished said they agreed that the buildings were sited on the watercourse, they chastised the chiefs of the area for selling the land to them.
Many of them, especially the women, wept uncontrollably as the bulldozer shovelled their buildings, which they claimed had been constructed with money earned from many years of toil.
Some of them pleaded with the authorities to grant them a grace period to look for alternative accommodation.
Policemen were present to prevent any possible clash between the authorities and the residents who might have sought to stop the demolition exercise.
However, the exercise was carried out peacefully, as there was no resistance from any quarters.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Sarpong, who personally supervised the exercise, said all unauthorised structures would be demolished to help avert any more disasters in future.
He announced that the exercise would move into the heart of Kumasi, after Kronum, to areas such as Oforikrom, Susanso, Anloga and Airport Roundabout (Agye Boat) where some buildings are sitting on watercourses.
He said the assembly was taking the exercise step by step and that it was currently taking an inventory of all structures on watercourses in those areas as part of due diligence to check where there were no permits and such structures were obstructing the free flow of water.
Mr Sarpong said the assembly wanted to find a lasting solution to the recurrent trend and prevent situations such as happened in Accra.
The Kumasi MCE expressed the hope that the exercise would serve as a deterrent to other people who would want to flout the assembly's bye-laws.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Development Control Officer, Mr Amoako Asiamah, told the Daily Graphic that the KMA would protect lands near water sources after the demolition.
He said those affected at Kronum Kyekyire would not get any compensation since their buildings had no permits.
He said some owners of the remaining 44 buildings had provided permits given them by the Kwabre District Assembly and that the KMA was going to sit down with officers from Kwabre to assess the situation to find the way forward.
Floods from heavy rains have in various degrees hit areas such as Breman-Abusuakruwa, Aboabo, Atonsu S-Line, Ahinsan and parts of Buokrom Estates.
The flood situation, in the country this year has been very serious, rendering many people homeless. ,
President John Evans Atta Mills recently directed that all structures built on watercourses should be demolished to minimise the devastating effects of floods.

Suspected notorious robber gunned down in Kumasi

ONE of the most wanted armed robbers on the list of the police in Kumasi, Awudu Karim, was gunned down by a military/police patrol team last Saturday night after more than five years of fruitless attempts to track him down. The death of the gangling Awudu came barely a week after police killed eight armed robbers on the Anwiankwanta-Bekwai road in the Ashanti Region and police said it was another success story in the fight against armed robbery. The deceased who had been linked to a series of robberies in Kumasi and Obuasi was also alleged to have raped a number of women including prostitutes through their anus. He was killed after resisting arrest and injuring a soldier in the process. Police said Awudu also violently freed himself and pointed a locally manufactured pistol at the soldier, forcing the police to gun him down. Popularly referred to as “Awudu Maayanka” the police claimed one of his accomplices named as Francis Gyimah, 16, had just been arrested on Saturday afternoon and had mentioned his name as his boss and mentor. A number of his victims have come forward to identify him as ever robbing and raping them. The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah, who briefed the press said one police officer spotted Awudu at the Aboabo Station at Alabar between 10 and 11pm and called for reinforcement to help apprehend him. The commander said upon the arrival of the patrol team a soldier engaged Awudu and arrested him but he managed to free himself injuring the military man in the process. He said they pursued him and just as he pulled a locally manufactured pistol and pointed it at the military man, the police were forced to gun him down. DCOP Timbillah said two live cartridges aside what had been loaded in the locally manufactured gun were retrieved from him. In addition to that two mobile phones, one of which was later identified as a phone he snatched from someone in the afternoon was retrieved from him. DCOP Timbillah said Awudu had been organising young boys for robbery expeditions as well as raping his victims. He claimed some lady victims who had come forward to identify him claimed Awudu preferred raping them via the anus. The Police Commander said on Friday he outwitted the police at the Asokwa residential area after a robbery expedition where he made away with four video decks, GH¢150 cash, four mobile phones and a television set. He stated that on Saturday the police got another information that someone was terrorizing and robbing people at Atonsu Kuwait and the police followed up and later managed to arrest Francis Gyimah, 16, who mentioned Awudu as their mentor and ring leader. The suspect claimed Awudu was around the robbery scene but fled before the police got there. Upon a tip off the police proceeded to the house of another accomplice, named as Paa Tuo where the police retrieved robbery implements including two axes, a scissors and a knife. He said Paa Tuo was on the run and the police were looking for him. DCOP Timbillah said Awudu was an ex-convict who was also being sought for by the Obuasi police for a number of crimes. He said at the Asokwa Police for instance there were about three fresh robbery cases against him which included an attack on some young boys on June 1, 2009, an attack on a beer bar where he was said to have vandalized, ransacked the place and took away money. Since he was gunned down a lot of people have been coming forward to identify him. Moments after his body was dumped at the police headquarters word went round the metropolis and many people besieged the police station during the night and in the morning to identify him. A team of prostitutes “call girls” who came to identify him at about 12 midnight jubilated over his death and alleged that he had been terrorizing them at their various hangouts and had been raping them. “Awudu would never have sex with you in the normal way oo!!, he would force you to bend over at gun point and do it through the anus in the bush”, one of them told the Daily Graphic. The remains have since been deposited at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital morgue.

Bloody Night. 8 Armed robbers killed in shoot-out with police

IN what police say is the single biggest operation against armed robbery in the country, eight armed robbers all believed to be of Fulani extraction, were gunned down by the police in a hail of bullets on the Anwiankwanta-Bekwai road in the Ashanti Region Monday night.
The armed men had barricaded the road at about 7pm robbing travellers when the police, acting upon a tip off, descended on them.
Police identified one of them as Ahmed Boakye, a Fulani man, who was involved in a robbery case at a filling station on April 22, 2007. He was granted bail by a High Court in Kumasi where he was on trial.
Four others believed to have sustained gunshot wounds, managed to escape into the bush and police have called on the public especially medical centres to be on the look out for any one with a suspected gunshot wound who may seek medical attention.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Patrick Timbillah, was excited at the operation and said, “We are on the right path and there is no turning back”
“I promised that we were taking the fight to them and that is what we are just doing,” Timbillah told journalists in Kumasi today.
One policeman was injured on the hand from pellets fired from a locally made pistol the robbers used.
A police vehicle used in the operation was also dented as the robbers fired back in an attempt to flee arrest.
Police retrieved from the robbers, four locally made pistols, 11 unspent cartridges, three spent cartridges six mobile phones, five flashlights and a number of talismans.
Hundreds of people poured into the precincts of the Regional Police Headquarters where the bullet-ridden bodies of the robbers lay. Some cursed them even in death.
DCOP Timbillah said that at about 6.20pm on Monday police had information that some Fulani men had blocked the road, robbing people of their personal belongings.
A detachment of personnel from the Buffalo Unit was detailed to the spot.
The regional commander stated that while the police were getting nearer the scene, they saw a number of vehicles doing the u-turn to escape attack from the armed men.
The policemen continued to the area but before they would reach the spot, the robbers started firing at them resulting in the injury to the policemen.
On realising that the police were closing in on them with other vehicles, the robbers started running away but the police opened fire on them killing eight in the process.
Their bodies had been deposited at the morgue pending further investigations.
Before this incident the biggest single attack on armed robbers was in 2002, when police killed five armed men who attacked a warehouse in Kumasi. A policeman lost his life in the process as the robbers hit back.