Families of seven Zongo residents, who were shot dead in cold blood by the police at Manso Nkwanta in July 2017, have been compensated by the government.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that, each relative of the seven deceased will be given two hundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis (GHc250,000).
The president made the disclosure at the Zongo for Peace and Development Conference, held in Kumasi on Tuesday.
“As promised earlier, a compensation package of GHc 1,750,000 will be paid to the families of the victims of last year’s Asawase shooting incident. GH¢ 250,000 for each of the 7 families is to be paid to the dependents of the deceased.
“Even though money cannot replace the life of a human being, it is being offered as a way of accepting the responsibility of the State in this tragic affair,” the president said.
The killing of the zongo youth by the police led to a series of protests by aggrieved residents of Asawase and other Zongo communities.
Whilst the police claimed that the deceased were armed robbers, relatives insisted on their innocence. READ MORE
An independent committee tasked to investigate the shooting later exonerated the deceased in its findings.
The government therefore promised to compensate the family and immediately interdicted the police officers involved in the shooting incident.
President Akufo-Addo has appealed to residents of Asawase and the families of the victims to continue to exercise restraint as the unfortunate incident is addressed within the confines of the law and due process.
“I assure you that justice will be served. I am determined on it,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo assured the public that due process will be followed in the pursuit of justice and calls for patience.
“Processes have been initiated that will result in the prosecution of any police person who is allegedly found to have acted outside the law,” he added.
Relatives of the deceased were satisfied with the compensation package.
“We know money cannot replace lost life but we are happy government has fulfilled its promise. The Committee’s findings that exonerated our brothers is even refreshing. The world now knows that our brothers are not armed robbers and they did not exchange fire with the police” General secretary of Zongo for Peace, Alhaji Shaibu Musah Shariff, stated.
“We thank the government for getting to the bottom of our issue. My brother will now Rest in Peace”, a brother to one of the deceased, Abdul Malik, noted.
The Zongo for Peace and Development Conference under the auspices of the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development aims to create and foster peace and unity among residents of Zongo Communities.
Representative of Council for Zongo Chiefs in Ashanti region, Alhaji Musah Akanbonga called on the police MTTU to restore their services in Asawase.
“The police MTTU in Asawase withdrew its services following the disturbance and attack on police officers after the killing of the innocent gentlemen by the police. We are calling on them to restore their services with the fullest assurance that no one will attack them”
Speaking on the theme of the Conference, “Building our Zongo Community through tolerance and peace”, President Akufo-Addo noted that good intentions and the desire for development will come to naught if citizens do not strive for peace in their communities.
Without peace, the President noted, government cannot activate the processes that will lead to an improvement in the living standards of Zongo residents, adding that injustice or a sense of injustice can trigger frustration in people, and result in violence or violent behaviour.
The Conference brought together Zongo leaders across the country to find ways of reversing the narrative and negative perception of Zongo communities as violent habitats.
By Ibrahim Abubakar | 3news.com | Ghana