The Bureau for Internal Affairs (BIA), an anti-corruption organisation, has called for an enquiry into the sale of the Tema Children’s Park to a foreign company.
The facility is the only children’s park in and around the surrounding communities of Tema. The park which is situated near the Tema Senior High School, has allegedly been sold to a Korean company.
A statement issued by Mr Godfred Nkrumah, Co-ordinating Director of the BIA, wondered why the only children’s park in Tema should be sold.
It said as its contribution to President Mahama’s crusade against corruption, the bureau had rolled out a programme dubbed: “door-to-door information gathering and sharing for effective governance and human development”.
The statement said it would team up with the public; especially workers, traders and students to support the government in its fight against any corrupt practices that undermine national development.
It said BIA would not hesitate to drag any corrupt official to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.
In a sharp rebuttal, the legal officer of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), Mr Emmanuel Avenorgbo, denied that the children’s park had been sold.
He explained that the assembly had only sub-leased the park to a Chinese company for development into a recreational facility to serve residents and tourists to Tema.
That decision, he said, was taken by the assembly and not an individual, saying that the recreational facility would revert back to the assembly after the expiration of the sub-lease period.
Mr Avenorgbo, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on telephone in reaction to the bureau’s statement explained that the decision was taken on the floor of the assembly.
According to him, the lack of funds to develop it and provide adequate facilities for the park made the assembly take the decision to sub-lease it.
He said documentation and details of the lease had all been prepared in the name of the assembly .
Mr Avenorgbo, who was not able to give the period of lease and cost, opined that every resident of Tema was aware of the situation of the park.
He noted that organisations, including VALCO and Zonta, had made similar approaches in the past to redevelop the park but failed to do so.
Mr Avenorgbo was of the view that once it was lying fallow, it would be appropriate to sub–lease it after which the assembly would take over.
By Rose Hayford Darko, Tema