Monday, February 2, 2009


A number of residents of the Kumasi metropolis have been asking when the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) will fulfil key promises to uplift the image of Kumasi.
It looks as if many are fed up with unfulfilled promises and are not ready to hear them any longer.
More than two years ago, the KMA received all the media attention when it announced moves to use garbage generated in the city to produce electricity.
Kumasi generates several thousand tonnes of solid waste a day and a project like this will surely not have problems succeeding if well planned.
The project was to be sited at the KMA’s final disposal site at Dompoase near Kumasi.
Newspapers, television and radio gave wide publicity to the KMA’s decision and some of the editorials heaped tonnes of praises on the KMA and particularly its Chief Executive, Ms Patricia Appiagyei, for their foresight.
Those were the days when Ghana was experiencing serious energy crisis and the general belief was that the execution of the project would help address the challenges in the energy sector.
A special launch of the proposed project was held in Kumasi, with the usual long speeches by dignitaries.
Since that period, nothing serious has been done to see the project become a reality.
The usual “plans are in the pipeline” is what the authorities tell you when you enquire about how far the proposed project has gone.
About seven years ago, the KMA again promised to develop the Kumasi Central Market into a first-class market to befit the status of Kumasi as the second largest city in Ghana.
The initial decision was to undertake the project on a build, operate and transfer basis. Again, over the years, the authorities have not done anything positive on the proposed project.
It is clear that Kumasi needs a new market. The congestion and haphazard development within the market pose a serious threat to lives and property in the event of any fire outbreak.
Several other promises in the areas of sanitation, renovation and construction of satellite markets, the provision of street lights, among others, have not been fulfilled, raising doubts about the sincerity of the authorities.
Today, it appears the KMA is in crisis of a sort, no question about that.
For now it looks as if nothing is working for the assembly, plunging the management of the metropolis into a state of confusion.
The withdrawal of government appointees to the assembly has contributed in crippling its activities, as major decisions cannot be taken.
Even though the MCE, Ms Patricia Appiagyei, is still in office pending further directives from President J.E.A. Mills, she is unable to sign cheques or take any major decisions.
The general cry is to President Mills to appoint an MCE without further delay to save the assembly from completely crumbling.
And even in appointing a new MCE, serious doubts are being cast as to how he or she would move to bring order into the city, looking at the rate at which indiscipline has taken root within it.
Signs that the assembly was getting into trouble started some time in September last year when it decided to allow hawkers back to the streets for political expediency.
Within the same period, the then Regional Minister, Mr E.O. Owusu-Ansah, was alleged to have written a letter to the assembly to suspend the decision to elect a new presiding member (PM) after the term of office of the incumbent had elapsed.
Some members of the assembly questioned the decision and, according to them, they were told that it was taken because of the approaching national elections.
Clearly, the KMA needs a massive shake-up to ensure normalcy in its development drive.
A lot depends on the assembly members and the chief executive to be appointed. On that score, President Mills should weigh his options before making a choice for the MCE.
The era when party loyalty alone was used as a yardstick for the appointment of the MCE is gone and one’s ability to perform should be the key word.

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