Sunday, 21 July

A/R: Ashaiman tomatoe importers cry foul over harassment from market queens

Some young men carrying tomatoes boxes from a truck

Some market women from the Ada and Ashaiman areas of the Greater Accra Region who are engaged in the importation of tomatoes from Togo to the Ashaiman main market have indicated they have been facing constant harassment from Ashaiman main market queen mothers.

For the past three years, according to reports, these importers have been constantly harassed by these market queens.

According to the victims, anytime they arrive at Ashaiman Market with their goods, some market guys, on the orders of the said market queen, seize their goods, sell them and share the monies among themselves without the knowledge of the respective importers.

They say the reason for the market queen's actions is their failure to register with their Association.

According to the market queen, before the importers can be allowed to do business in the market they must be registered. 

This, the importers see as absurd as the market is an open place where everyone can go about his/her business.

One of the importers, Rebecca Lartey, speaking in an interview with Class 91.3 FM simply said they don't understand why they are allowed to sell at the Central Market in the Accra metropolis but are refused to do business at the Ashaiman main market.

According to her, the situation has resulted in the loss of capital invested in the business. 

"Some of us were arrested and are facing persecution by our creditors in Togo," she narrated.

She lamented that since the harassment began, they have reported the case to appropriate authorities but all to no avail.

She, therefore, called on the government to intervene to allow them access to sell freely at the Ashaiman market.

Meanwhile, when the market queen was contacted to respond, she asked Rebecca Lartey to provide the names of the victims before they can respond to the issues. 

The Ashaiman Chief, Nii Annan Adjor, when contacted about the plight of the importers also said he has asked the victims to report the issues to the police.

Source: Mensah