GUTA gives conditions for reopening locked up shops at Circle

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

Members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle have outlined conditions under which they will reopen the locked up shops belonging to foreigners.

The Ghanaian traders clashed with their Nigerian counterparts on Monday, December 2, 2019, at the Kwame Nkrumah circle.

They want the government to enforce the  GIPC Act which bars foreigners from engaging in the retail business in Ghana.

Section 27 of the GIPC Act, 865 prohibits foreigners from engaging in retail business in Ghana.

The sale of anything, whatsoever in the market, petty trading, hawking or selling from a kiosk at any place is a wholly reserved activity for Ghanaians.

GUTA has accused the government of failing to enforce the law.

The clashes at the Nkrumah Circle led to the arrest of at least six persons while others sustained injuries.

GUTA has however vowed to keep the 600 shops locked until their demands are met.

National President of mobile phone dealers, Osei Agyemang, said his members will only open the shops if the foreigners are ready to unpack their goods from the shops and vacate the retail markets.

“The only thing that will make us open the shops for them is to open for them to clear their goods out of the shops and leave our market alone” he said on Starr FM.

He also maintained that the shops of the foreigners will be opened the moment the government decides to enforce the GIPC Act.

“We are doing that to tell the authorities to apply the GIPC Law that tells them to leave our markets. They’re not supposed to do retail in our markets. They’re not supposed to do retail in our markets. It’s not about their prices. It’s not about anything. They’re not supposed to be where they are. They should leave our markets. We’re not telling them to leave Ghana because Ghana is not for us but the market belongs to us”

Comparing the recent closure of the Nigerian border to other African countries including Ghana, Osei Agyemang said GUTA’s actions will not cause tension if the border closure isn’t causing the same.

“We will not back down at all. Not at all. They’ve closed their borders to all Africans. It’s not brewing any tension?” he questioned.

Osei Agyemang further stated that the Ministry of Trades and Industry has failed to abide by the law hence their decision to take the laws into their own hands.

Meanwhile, shops of foreigners especially Nigerians remain under lock and key 24-hours after the fracas.

Police personnel have also been deployed to the area to ensure the clashes do not recur.

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