Ghanaian traders at Opera Square in Accra have embarked on yet another operation to lock-up shops owned by foreigners in the national capital.
The operation which is not backed by police is also targeting shops owned by Chinese nationals.
This is the third time such incident had occurred at this venue where foreign-owned shops operating within the Square are being targeted. There was a recent one in July 2019.
Citi News’ Umaru Sanda Amadu who reported from the scene said the operators used their own specialized padlocks to lock-up the shops.
He said over 50 shops had been locked up by midday on Monday.
“As we speak, they just finished locking the 52nd shop which is part of a number of shops they have targeted. They have been moving from shop to shop. For persons who have been resisting the move, they have been told to bring documents to prove that they are Ghanaians. So, the shops will be locked in the interim while they go and bring the documents. If they fail to do so, the shops will continue to be locked.”
This action comes on at a time an ultimatum had been given by members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) for government to close retail shops belonging to foreigners by today, Monday, November 4, 2019.
GUTA claimed that the government has not fulfilled its promise of ridding the market of such traders despite several appeals.
Sue us for closing your shops – GUTA to foreign retailers
GUTA had dared the foreign traders whose retail shops have been closed to sue them if they feel they are being treated unfairly.
Already, the association has begun serving these foreign traders with notices as to they evacuating their shops, and have already locked up a few.
The association says foreigners can decide to sue them if they ‘think what we are doing is not right”.
What the law says about foreign retail trade
Members of GUTA have on several occasions complained about what they say is the collapse of their businesses due to the invasion of foreigners in the retail business.
According to them, the activities of the foreigners breach the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s Act (Act 865).
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.