Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Friday, February 26, 2010

KMA demolish unlawful buildings on OKESS lands

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) on Friday commenced an exercise to demolish unauthorised buildings sited on the land of Osei Kyeretwie Senior High School (OKESS) in Kumasi.
The move formed part of an attempt to salvage parts of the school land said to have been unlawfully taken over by encroachers.
About 40 residential buildings worth thousands of Ghana cedis many of which were in their final stages of construction were razed to the grounds.
The demolished structures also included four buildings belonging to four separate one-man churches in the area.
In all about 250 buildings many of which were yet to be completed were said to have been unlawfully constructed on the school lands.
The KMA officials could not readily tell the exact number of buildings they intended to demolish in the area but they said the plan was to try and salvage parts of the land for the school.
There has been a long standing dispute over the encroached land between the authorities of the school and the property owners.
Whilst the school authorities claimed two thirds of the 143 acre land belonging to the school had been taken over by the encroachers, the property owners also insisted they legally acquired the lands from the chief of Busumuru, whom they said have oversight responsibility over the lands in the area.
The school authorities claimed the property owners have ignored several warnings over the years for them to discontinue with the construction and that the only option left was to demolish the buildings.
Mr Samuel Sarpong, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive personally supervised the demolishing exercise which commenced early Friday morning.
Mr Sarpong last week visited the school and after inspecting the encroached areas warned to demolish all the unauthorised structures.
The Kumasi Mayor insisted he was not going to allow school lands in the Kumasi metropolis to be taken over by private developers.

It was such a pathetic sight as the buldozers shoveled through the buildings. Many of the property owners, especially the women, wept uncontrollably as the bulldozer shoveled their buildings, which they claimed had been constructed with money earned from many years of toil.
Some of them who had already occupied the buildings pleaded with the authorities to grant them a grace period to look for alternative accommodation. Some of them had to hurriedly pack their personal belongings out of the buildings to make way for the demolishing exercise.
Policemen were present to prevent any possible clash between the authorities and the residents who might have sought to stop the demolition exercise.
The exercise was carried out peacefully, even though some of the property owners attempted to organise their colleagues to violently oppose the demolishing exercise.
They were held at bay by the security operatives and only resorted to casting of insinuations and aspersions.
Some of people that gathered at the place to witness the demolishing exercise also cast aspersions, insinuations and curses on the KMA officials for embarking on the demolishing exercise.
Some also chastised the chiefs of the area for selling the lands to them.
Whilst some property owners pleaded for leniency, others offered to donate their property to the school free of charge and others called for a negotiation for them to sell the property to the school to be used as staff quarters.
Their reason was that, they could not bear the sight of their toil being razed to the grounds.
Some of the buildings have been sited anyhow with some of them very close to a new dormitory block which was under construction as well as a new administration block which was also under construction.
Many schools in the Kumasi metropolis including Osei Kyeretwie and Kumasi Girls have had its share of an increasing rate of encroachment of its school lands by private developers.
The Headmaster of the OKESS, Mr Samuel Agyapong said the authorities sometime in the past constructed a fence wall in the area to forestall future encroachments but said the encroachers pulled down the fence wall and decided to construct behind the wall.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Development Control Officer, Mr Amoako Asiamah, told the Daily Graphic that the KMA would protect school lands and expressed the hope that the exercise would serve as a deterrent to other people who would want to flout the assembly's bye-laws.