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Sand winners assault 1D1F Chinese investor at Teacher Mante [VIDEO]

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
The illegal road which has been created by the sand haulage truck drivers through the 1D1F project site
The illegal road which has been created by the sand haulage truck drivers through the 1D1F project site

The activities of sand winners in the Teacher Mante area of the Eastern Region in relation to the gathering and carrying away of parts of the solid earth such as sand and gravel as raw material for construction of roads and buildings is becoming a nuisance in the area.

Apart from degrading the lands in the area, the activities of the sand winners have been disturbing the Teacher Mante community in the form of destruction of the road in the centre of town as well as the spread of dust in the centre of town.

This has resulted in the Teacher Mante community preventing sand haulage trucks from using the main road in the centre of the town.

1D1F

However, the haulage trucks have resorted to the creation of a new road which runs through the property of Chinese investor, Brother Li Limited, which has initiated a US$20 million One District One Factory (1D1F) project in the area.

In order to build the industrial zone on the 24-acre land, Brother Li fenced the land.

However, the sand haulage truck drivers and the contractor winning sand in the area recently created a road through the 24-acre land leased to the Chinese investor for the construction of 10 different factories in the area.

The factories are going to be in the area of furniture, car accessories, vegetables, construction materials and many others.

The haulage truckers have also blocked a water course in the area to create the illegal road to enable them have access to the sand winning site located near Governorkrom which is about five miles from Teacher Mante.

Assault

On November 17, 2020 when it came to the attention of one of the investors in the 10-factory consortium, Zhen Jing Yu that the illegal access road had been created through the land by the haulage truck drivers by breaking down a fence wall in the area, and he confronted the drivers and the contractor, they assaulted him.

Zhen Jing Yu told Graphic Online on a visit to the area located at Peposo in Teacher Mante on Monday, December 28, 2020 that, he was hit with the butt of a pistol, punched in the face, the back of his head and in the ear, which has resulted in hearing difficulties for him since his eardrum has been affected.

He said his eye glasses fell down and his head swelled and since he could not hear, he had to seek medical attention at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra.

He showed a medical report from Korle Bu confirming the hearing difficulties to Graphic Online as a result of the assault.

He said all he did was to enquire from the drivers why they broke the fence wall and created the access road without his consent. He said the caretaker informed him about the creation of the illegal access road on November 16 so the following day, November 17, he visited the site and saw the trucks passing through.

He said he stopped one of them and demanded to see the contractor and after 30 minutes, the contractor and some other drivers, with a gang numbering more than 15 came and attacked him and one of them pulled a gun on him, while another held an AK 47 assault rifle.

He said the contractor pointed the pistol at his forehead and threatened to kill him before he slapped him in the face, hit him with the butt of the gun and pushed him into his car with an order not for him to dare question them again.

He said the following day, November 18, 2020, he reported the case at the Teacher Mante Police Post but the police have not made any progress with the investigations as of now, whilst the haulage trucks are still using the illegal access road on the land.

Below is video of explaining what happened on Nov 18

Police report

A worker of the Chinese investor, Kofi Akule who witnessed the incident together with two other workers of the Chinese investor corroborated Zhen Jing Yu’s account to Graphic Online and said it was the contractor winning the sand for the haulage truckers who initiated the attack and assaulted his boss.

He said they were winning the sand close to Governorkrom which is about five miles from Teacher Mante but because the chief and elders of the town have stopped them from using the road in the centre of town because of the resultant nuisance of dust and destruction of the road, they resorted to the illegal road on the land.

Akule explained that he spearheaded the leasing of the land from the landowner, Nathan Abokyi more than a year ago for the Chinese investor and he has since been working with them as a caretaker of the land.

When Graphic Online visited the Teacher Mante Police Post, police officers at the station confirmed that the case was reported but said it has since been transferred to the Property Fraud Unit at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Accra.

No arrests have been made as of now.

National Security intervention

Some operatives from National Security have since visited the site and promised to provide protection for the Chinese investor and also assist to block the illegal access road as well as clear the water course which has been blocked by the sand haulage truckers.

When Graphic Online visited the palace of the Abranhene of Teacher Mante, Nana Ayisi Kwayisi on the matter, he said he was not aware of the assault case and gave an assurance to the investor that he will ensure a peaceful resolution of the matter.

He recounted how sand winners have been disturbing the Teacher Mante community and why they were stopped from using the town as a thoroughfare to get to their destination to win sand outside of town.

He said an alternate road outside of town was created for them until they recently resorted to the new one which runs through the property of the 1D1F investors.

The Chief Executive of Brother Li, Jack Yan told Graphic Online that a total of $20million investment is to be made in the area with employment opportunities for over 5000 locals.

Already, Brother Li has embarked on a similar 1D1F project in the Afienya area as well as working on a China Mall project behind the West Hills area in Weija.

He said but for the COVID-19 pandemic, actual construction works would have started on the factories at the Teacher Mante site by now.

Jack Yan said Ghana was a peaceful and stable country with many kind and honest people but attitudes such as the assault of Zhen Jing Yu could affect investor confidence.

He said he had to report the case at the CID headquarters in Accra when the Teacher Mante Police Post was not making a progress with the case.

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