Management of West Hills Mall has described as misleading, claims that the entrance to China Mall was blocked due to competition between the two companies.
“The least reference made to competitor rivalry the better, because the presence of China Mall provides diversity in the offerings that retailers like ourselves provide, and honestly, it is clear that we serve two very different markets in these communities,” a statement, signed by Assistant Assets Manager of Attafrica, owners of West Hills Mall, Olympio Agbodza, explained.
The statement clarified that the blockade was meant to prevent China Mall from further encroaching the ‘legally’ acquired property and paid-for-land of West Hills Mall.
“It is important to note that this is simply a case of encroachment by China Mall on West Hills Mall land and an attempt by West Hills Mall’s Management to secure and protect its land that has been intruded by China Mall during the past couple of months,” part of the statement read.
The statement explained that the area being referred to as entrance to China Mall, is part of West Hill Mall’s property and has been duly registered with relevant certificates issued by the Lands Commission.
“Shareholders have invested in excess of $100million and inclusive of $10million on an interchange that gives sole access to the Mall. So when we became aware that part of this property had been encroached upon, all we did was to take the necessary steps to protect our investments which, by the way, is partly owned by workers and pensioners of Ghana through the 40% stake which SSNIT owns in this investment.”
Management of West Hills Mall said it engaged the owners of the China Mall before going ahead to take that action which resulted in the arrest of its Facility Manager, 42-year-old James Mensah and a contractor, Samuel Annum Adjei, 44, earlier this week.
The next steps was that, “China Mall was to inform West Hills Mall by a certain date as to how it would implement the change. Unfortunately, China Mall reneged on its promise and continued using the land without informing West Hills Mall.”
James Mensah and Samuel Annum Adjei were later charged with conspiracy to commit crime, unlawful entry of premises and offensive conduct, conducive to the breach of peace and trespassing.
Ruby Ntitri-Opoku, who presided over the case, ordered the immediate removal of the rocks from the entrance to the China Mall.
The Facility also described the arrest of its Manager as unfortunate, adding that it will soon take legal actions on the matter to salvage its image from disrepute.
“West Hills Mall believes that laws protecting land ownership in Ghana should be respected and that China Mall should not be able to appropriate West Hills Mall’s land without proper authorisation,” part of the statement read.
Below is the full statement: