Mr. Richard Anning, Assembly man of the Horticulture Electoral Area, Community Four, Tema, says residents of the Kaizer Flats, marked for demolition, are not squatters and that they deserve compensation.
At a meeting convened by the Member of Parliament (MP) of the Tema Central,Mr Kofi Brako, to inform residents of the affected blocks of the need to prepare their minds to vacate the facility, he said, “The last time we heard from news outlets, all the people living here are squatters. Frankly speaking these are people who have lived their entire lives here.”
He said that the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) had plans to redevelop the entire Kaizer and Segico Flats and not just the four affected blocks, so was demanding that TDC came out with their demolishing plan as instructed by the Ministry of Works and Housing for residents to know.
According to him, the four blocks marked for demolition, were in a bad shape and would have to be pulled down, yet TDC should manage the eviction process so that it would not create problems for the residents.
He said there was now the need to balance the desire to keep them in the facility with the need for their safety adding “we do agree that they are citizens but you and I also agree that the fact that they are Ghanaians means they mean a lot to us and we should not expose them to danger.”
He observed that the people were entitled to some form of compensation having lived in the facility for a long time ad refuted the notion that they were compensated but never moved out.
He said, “Those who claim they have compensated our people are not telling the truth. TDC was selling lands; those whose flats were considered dangerous were given the chance to buy some of the plots. The only thing TDC did for them was to spread the payments.”
Mr. Anning prayed the government to consider resettling them in some of the affordable housing projects within the city.
The Spokesperson of the residents Mr. Isaac Lomotey, said the matter was not over. insisted that “if they want to eject us, they should relocate us. How do you compensate people you say are squatters, and if we are legal tenants you don’t just eject us like that.”
He said they had nowhere to go to pave way for the redevelopment, “and if they finish building and say it cost 400 thousand dollars, how many people can afford it.”
Mrs. Nina Mantey, a resident, wondered how possible it was to break just the four flats without affecting the rest of the building adding “i have heard of plans to eject us all; what wrong have we done. Our flat is okay but for the fact that we don’t have anybody to speak for us.”
It would be recalled that Court bailiffs from Tema threw out the personal belongings of residents of four blocks at the Kaizer Flats in June to make the facility available to the TDC to demolish.