History: How The Seizure Of State Run Mafi-Kumase Market By The Locals Transformed The Community

The market seizure made a legend out of a 28 years old young man, Mr. John Dunyo, who brought the idea.

The idea was quickly bought into by the then chairman of Town Development Committee (TDC), who happens to be the uncle of the originator of the idea, Togbe Agbenyo Ametieku II, when it was first discussed with him.

Togbe Agbenyo Ametieku II, personally paid for the typing and printing cost of letters to the district assembly informing them about the intention to seize the market and letters to all villages within the Mafi Traditional Area inviting them to participate in the mass action. Togbe Agbenyo also paid for the transportation fare of the originator of the idea to deliver the letters.

The seizure of the market from the District Assemly was carried out virtually by everyone in the Mafi Traditional Area.

There was only one (1) typewriting shop at the time, in the year 1982, in the whole of Mafi-Kumase area, located at Mafi-Kpedzeglo.

A civil disobedience under a military regime.

Revenue from tax and any other sources is what is used to develop a country and communities for that matter. Mafi-Kumase is a central community of several other communities in the Central Tongu District of Volta Region. The market in the community was established in 1953 and generated a lot of revenue for the then district Assembly which comprise the now three (3) Tongu Districts, the South Tongu District, North Tongu and Central Tongu District. The effect of revenue generated from the market toll seem not to reflect in the developmental status of the community. This situation is what brought the idea of seizing the market by Mr. John Dunyo.

Mr. John Dunyo first floated the idea of seizing the local market to his uncle, Togbe Agbenyo Ametieku II, who was then the chairman of the Town Development Committee (TDC). The TDC chairman bought into the idea quickly and was ready to lead the crusade through the well established TDC structure as its chairman. The TDC which comprise chiefs, queen mothers and headmen of every village in the enclave, was quickly sermomed to discuss the idea of seizing the market. The idea was accepted and processes to implement the idea was formulated and put into action as early as possible.

Letters had to be sent to the district assembly informing them about the intention of the people to take over the market. ‘Togbe Agbenyo Ametieku II personally funded the typing, printing and transport fares to hand deliver the letter to the district Assembly’, according to the originator and messenger of the idea, Mr. Dunyo. ‘Togbe Agbenyo Ametieku II also personally funded the transport of Mr. Dunyo to deliver letters inviting all the villages in the Mafi-Kumase area to join the market seizure in their numbers.

On the said market day the action was to occur, people from all villages, men, women, children, old and the youth, throng to the market which takes place every Monday. For whatever reason, the District Assemly officials did not turn up to collect their usual tax or market tolls.

The market was eventually seized in somewhere late 1982. The military goverment at the time did not marshal its soldiers on the town because the military regime itself provided the atmosphere for a revolution.

Revenue from the market tolls within six (6) months was enough to set up a community Senior high school, formerly known as Mafi-Kumase Senior Secondary Technical School, now called Mafi-Kumase Senior High Technical School. Mr. Dunyo who went on to become the first headmaster of the school now had a statue to his name in the community senior high school unveiled by not less a person than the President of the republic H.E Nana Akuffo-Addo, thirty four years after the establishment of the school, in the year 2017. The school that was established in the year 1983, Mafi-Kumase Community Senior High School is the only Senior High School in the area upto today, that served a populations of  over tens of thousands when it was only day school. The school having gotten a boarding school status and now classified as a category B in the country currently attracts prospective students from across the country.

Mr. Dunyo, aside bringing on board the idea, effectively took part in it’s implementation. In the early stages of the process to seize the market, he delivered all letters either on foot to some villages or in vehicles to Sogakope, the then District capital. However, TDC later formed Market Management Committee (MMC) to manage the affairs of the market and the revenue coming out of it. The MMC was chaired by Mr. Kolly Dorcoo.

History: How The Seizure Of State Run Mafi-Kumase Market By The Locals Transformed The Community.

It took young local men to implement an idea they and their society believe in. At the time in the year 1982, Mafi-Kumase was the only community in the whole of West Africa to successfully managed their market and later a potable drinking water system without their collapse after few year. The next history to be told about Mafi-Kumase in the Central Tongu District of Volta Region in Ghana will be how they established water treatment plant through communal initiatives, also in the 1980s.

Source: Tsiza brochure, Mr. Kolly Dorcoo and Mr. John Dorcoo.

Compiled by: Xcube

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