The Keta Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Emmanuel Gemegah, has denied the recent claims by a group, ‘Concerned Youth and Fishermen of Keta’, that he has been depriving fishermen of their supplies of premix fuel, saying the MCEs were not in charge of the supply of premix fuel at any landing beach.
The supply of premix fuel, he explained, was the duty of the National Premix Committee.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Keta last Wednesday, Mr Gemegah challenged any fisherman or fishing net owner who had evidence of his involvement in premix fuel deals to report him to the security agencies.
Further, he said the group’s claim that he was involved in the sale of premix fuel along the Coastal Sector of the Volta Region was totally unfounded because he did not have jurisdiction over the entire sector, which spanned from Anloga, through Keta, to Ketu South.
He maintained his firm stance to ensure that stringent measures were put in place to reduce and halt the sale of premix fuel to non-fisher folk, hoarding and transporting to neighbouring districts and the Republic of Togo, to the detriment of the poor local fisherman.
Meanwhile, Mr Gemegah said on the issue of proceeds from the sales of consignments of premix fuel, the MCE did not have control over the proceeds.
He explained that fishermen were the chairmen of the Landing Beach Committees, and it was the function of the Landing Beach Committees to ensure the equitable distribution and sale of the premix fuel to fishers.
“So, if the distribution and sale are thrown into improprieties, then the fishermen together with their committees must be held accountable and not the innocent MCE,” Mr Gemegah maintained.
He touched on the subject of reclaimed lands, which went into the hands of “undeserving people,” mostly non-natives before he assumed office and said the beneficiaries knew the reclaimed portions of land had neither been handed over to the assembly nor the traditional authorities before they acquired them.
He said most of the beneficiaries were developing the land without lawful documents and so the assembly took a drastic decision to halt that trend.
Mr Gemegah said the assembly then invited the Lands Commission to have the reclaimed land planned properly.
Therefore, he said, it was not true that lands were allocated to people without due process, under his watch.
The MCE expressed concern over the unpatriotic attitude of some residents who worked as informants to illegal sand winners and warned that they would soon be busted.