Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tenants risk ejection after run-off

After the results of the run-off elections between Nana Akufo-Addo and John Evans Atta Mills have been announced by the Electoral Commission, some tenants in suburbs of Accra will have to relocate or be "forced to relocate. The reason is not far-fetched.

The tenants have been certified by their, landlords as 'politically unsuitable' for accommodation. In other words, they have been accommodated by mistake.

The evictions will ultimately depend on who wins the second round of the presidential race vis-a-vis the political preferences of the landlords who will be effecting the post election evictions.

Before the general elections, some landlords in Accra were said to have reviewed the rules and regulations of tenancy, one of which included the fact that tenants were not permitted to openly discuss politics in the compound houses or within close perimeter.

In addition, some tenants were not permitted to open their radio sets after 10:30 pm to listen to election results because the landlords and landladies said they will either be disturbed or denied their peaceful night's sleep.

As it were, both rules which appear a bit outlandish and high-handed could not be 'totally adhered to.

First, it is impossible for friendly co-tenants not to show their political preferences and argue over who will win or lose the presidential elections.

Second, the nature of the elections is such that almost everybody would want to keep wake and listen to, at least, some of the results before drifting into slumber, which meant radio sets could not be put off as early as 1 0:30pm.

One tenant from a suburb of Accra who wants to remain incognito (for fear of victimization) gave a broad overview of what tenants in some suburbs are facing and should expect after the final declaration of results.

According to him, he is a tenant of an over-bearing landlord who does not respect the rights of tenants at all. "The way my landlord looks at me these days, I am sure my days are numbered in the house."

Asked what he has seen to terrify him, he said, "Even when I greet him these days, he doesn't respond."

SPEC: Has he warned you about discussing politics in the house?

TENANT: Yes, quite a number of times. But I have told him that I am too political to stay mute over political issues.

SPEC: What about your co-tenants? TENANT: They are all terrified, so even when they are listening to election results, they don't open the radio sound too much.

SPEC: What other rules do you have in the house?

TENANT: As for the rules you can't count them. Babawoo! (many). When your visitors are too many for instance, it is an offence. So you have to tell your friends to meet you in a bar outside the house.

SPEC: Is your landlord in the habit of evicting tenants?

TENANT: That is like a hobby for him.

That is what he enjoys doing.

SPEC: What is likely to happen after the results of the run-off have been declared?

TENANT: If ..... wins, then I'm sure he'll be happy and he might decide to spare us because that is his darling candidate. But if he loses then those of us who disobeyed might well be on our way out.

SPEC: Is there no way out of this quagmire?

TENANT: I am here because I want government to enact a law to stop such attitudes by landlords and unnecessary victimization because they undermine the true spirit of democracy and the democratic culture.

Source: Spectator

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