Free Zones To Clear Squatters Today

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By Alfred K Dogbey

Authorities of Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), will today carry out its planned demolition of illegal structures on its 152 acre-lands at Tema Community 21, near Michel Camp, under a heavy supervision of state security apparatus.

The demolition, which has become necessary, is to prepare the land for the construction of a modern residential enclave for free zones investors.
GFZB’s attempt to take over the land it acquired from the Tema Development Corporation (TDC), has been on for the past 13 years, but today appears to be the end of the show.

Management of the Board, led by the Deputy Executive Secretary, Madam Oboubia Darko-Opoku at a media briefing on February 7, this year, gave final warning and a notice to the unlawful occupants to vacate the land.

The Chief Executive of GFZB, Kwadwo Twum-Boafo yesterday on an Accra-based radio station, also served notice that the demolition exercise is coming on today. He was, however, excited that some of the occupants including, churches have respected the order and have started leaving the area.

Meanwhile, The Herald is informed by its sources within GFZB that, Management intends to be benevolent by voluntarily paying compensation to some of the victims of the demolition on humanitarian grounds.

Prior to today’s must-do exercise, there have been back-and-forth between a certain Regent of Ashaiman and some of the encroachers at one side and the Free Zones Board over ownership of the land on the other side.

The GFZB, described the chief and the people’s action as “political maneuvering and trickery”.
Despite High Court and Appeal Court judgments in favour of GFZB, the Regents of Ashaiman and the encroachers petitioned several Government agencies and
even the President to handover the land to them.

Indeed, Management of GFZB, had even been dragged before the Ministry for Youth and Sports, Local Government and Lands and Forestry as a result of the petition presented to the Minister by the Regent of Ashaiman and the encroachers.

The Herald recently cited a letter dated October 1, 20013, signed by Mr. Twum Boafo and addressed to Chief Of Staff, Office of The President.
In the letter, Mr. Twum Boafo told President Mahama “…the Petition from the Regent of Ashaiman contains factual inaccuracies and could be summed up as a ploy to deceive His Excellency”.

He explained that “realizing that the Courts would not countenance their illegal occupation of Community 21, have now teamed up with the Regent of Ashaiman and resorted to the writing of petitions” as “political maneuvering and trickery”.

Briefing the Office of the President about the case, Mr. Twum Boafo said “the land which is the subject matter of the Petition has never formed part of lands under the Ashaiman Regent.

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