GUTA threatens nationwide demo over non-enforcement of retail laws

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has served notice that it will embark on a nationwide demonstration should government fail to enforce laws that forbid foreigners from undertaking retail business.

Speaking at a press conference at Opera Square, Accra, President of the Association, Dr. Joseph Obeng, said if the government does not enforce the law on retail as they are demanding, they will pour out in their numbers.

“We are going to declare the destiny day demonstration in three months, where all other laws will not be regarded if our pleas are not being noticed,” he said to the delight of the traders.

Attacks on foreigners

A scuffle ensued between Ghanaian traders and Nigerian traders at Opera Square in Accra again this week when the Ghanaian traders decided to lock up Nigerian shops.

It was a violent scene as the Nigerians also resisted the attempt by their counterparts to lock up their shops.

One of the executives of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association, the group leading to attack, Kofi Ofori said the activities of the foreigners are affecting their businesses.

"We are telling the foreigners to leave the market, we have a wholesale market for them and not the retail, it is not helpful we have tried our best to let them know that what they are doing is wrong but they will not listen..."

A similar incident happened last month at Opare Square and Suame Magazine in Kumasi, shops of foreigners were locked up in protest of their involvement in the retail business.

According to Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.