After a failed attempt to decongest the Kumasi central district last December, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has given traders and hawkers a February 11, 2019, ultimatum to vacate the roads linking the new Kejetia Market or face the wrath of the assembly.
The roads include the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) roundabout to the Dr Mensah stretch through to Pampaso, as well as the Central Market to Suame.
A combined team of military and police officers are on standby to help enforce the law.
The assembly, together with the regional security council, has engaged the affected traders through public education to drum home the need to decongest the city.
The regional security council, with the backing of the Manhyia Palace, has asked the affected 'illegal traders' to relocate to any of the 34 satellite markets across the city.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, told journalists in Kumasi that "it is not our intention to destroy people's businesses but we also don't have any option but to reopen the roads."
The regional minister said reopening the roads which were closed in 2017 for the completion of phase one of the market project was to prepare the grounds for the inauguration of the Kejetia Market.
"The reopening of the roads is the first step to test traffic movements before the market is inaugurated," he said.
Mr Osei-Mensah said the inauguration of the market was contingent on the success of the reopening of the roads.
Sale on pavements
He said the February 11 ultimatum marked the end of sale of wares on pavements and streets in the city.
The Kejetia project, under the Central Redevelopment Project, began in 2015 and was expected to have been completed in 2017.
Unfortunately, the first phase of the project, being undertaken by a Brazilian construction firm, Contracta, has delayed due to litigation and politics.