Kejetia traders lock-out market management and staff over high electricity bills

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Managing Director of the Kejetia Market, Edmund Kofi Duffour Addae, and some workers were driven away from their offices by traders on Tuesday morning.

Leaders of the traders’ unions threatened not to reopen the market until they receive an assurance from market authorities that their shops will in turn, be reopened.

This is after management of the New Kejetia Market locked up shops of traders who owed electricity bills, on Tuesday dawn.

The affected traders then besieged the administration premises and locked out staff of the City Market Company.

Many of the traders complained of high electricity charges, hence their inability to pay.

Chairman of the Kejetia Traders Association, Eric Nana Prempeh, claimed that the market authorities have no power to lock their shops.

“The management has no authority to close any shop. The Electricity Company of Ghana has not disconnected our light. Why is the market management locking our shops? We do not owe them! We owe the ECG”.

Chairman of the Kejetia Traders Association, Eric Nana Prempeh

Some traders are worried the situation will affect their trade, “there are several markets in Kumasi. Our customers will buy elsewhere if they see our shop closed.”

Another said, “I sell spices. It is perishable. Currently, my customers are waiting at my closed shop wanting to buy the spices. I am afraid to lose my customers.

“The market management has disappointed us. They cannot do this to a trader in Accra. Former Mayor, Former Kumasi Mayor, Kojo Bonsu fought for market women a lot. However, we cannot say the same for this current government,” she added.

Agitated Kejetia Traders in front of market administration

The Stand-off

Traders of the Kejetia Market in Kumasi have been engaging in standoffs with management of the facility over non-payment of electricity bills, periodically.

Though some have not been operating in their shops, they are forced to pay electricity bills.

I have not sold items up to a thousand cedis a day. Before I relocated to this market, I could sell items worth 1,500 cedis. Business is not going well. If we are unable to pay our bills, why do you lock our shops,” she quizzed.

Locked up stalls of traders

ECG Meters

The New Kejetia Market operates a centralized electricity meter.

After several appeals to the Electricity Company of Ghana, the City Market Management is yet to succeed in providing separate meters for each stall.

Leadership of the traders has therefore instructed non-payment of electricity bills until the challenge is addressed.

The market management however locked up shops whose owners have defaulted in payment of bills. The traders, in protest, locked up the administration block of the Kejetia Market.