The Minister for Inner-Cities and Zongo Development, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has presented cheques of GHc 250,000 each to families of the seven young men killed by police, at Manso-Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region in July 2018.
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The presentation ceremony was done in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi on Thursday.
Mustapha Abdul-Hamid in an address during the presentation said he was hopeful that the unjustified killing of youth in the Zongo community will cease when challenges such as illicit drug and vigilantism are tackled within such communities.
“When we said we will want to come and make the presentation on this day, the elders of the Zongo community had also already established that today there will be a gathering of young people and leaders from zongo communities to talk about illicit drugs and the unfortunate phenomenon of vigilantism. I think that the two objects go hand in hand because if we succeed in rooting out drugs and vigilantism from our Zongo communities, I believe that in the future you will not anymore be talking about the illicit killing of people.”
The presentation was in fulfillment of President Akufo-Addo’s promise made in January 2019 at the Zongo for Peace and Development Conference held in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.
The President pledged a total of GHc 1.7 million as compensation for the families and said he will ensure that justice is served.
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But while the families have commended the President’s decision to offer compensation, they have asked the state to ensure that the police officers found culpable are punished.
The seven-member government committee tasked to investigate the shooting incident found no evidence to suggest that the seven persons who were shot and killed by a police patrol team were armed robbers as the police claimed.
The killings on July 7, 2018, triggered outrage and anger in Zongo communities in Kumasi with residents insisting on the innocence of the seven.
There was some agitation within the Zongo community due to the delay in the release of the report.
21 police officers found to be involved in the killings were recommended for interdiction by the Police administration according to a Ministry of Information statement.
“The twenty-one (21) police personnel involved in the incident who have been found to be the principal suspects be interdicted by the Police administration and be subjected to formal police criminal investigation into the matter.”
But it is not clear if they have been interdicted.