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Chale Wote Arts Festival organisers arrested for breaching COVID-19 protocols

The Ghana Police Service arrested two of the organisers of the Chale Wote Arts Festival in Accra yesterday.

Mantse Aryeequaye

According to reports, the arrest has to do with government’s ban on large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three people were allegedly arrested and they are Mantse Ayikwei, Nii Ayitei, and then Kwaku Ananse, who’s one of the artists.

On August 13, 2021, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), announced that the 2021 edition of ‘Chale Wote’ will be a virtual event due to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

In an interview with Accra based Citi FM, an eyewitness and one of the participants at the event, Nicholas Tetteh Wayo said the police officers who carried out the arrest outside the Usher fort, caused damage to some machines, and scattered items arranged by food vendors who were getting ready to cash in on the event.

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He said the police did not explain the reason for the arrest of the three persons who are being kept at the Accra Police station.

According to him, the police officers appear to be acting on some orders from a political figure.

“I was inside the Ussher Fort, and then one of the guys rushed in to inform me that the police were arresting some people outside, and by the time I got outside, they had already gone to the Police station, so we were at the police station to do everything we could, but they’re still keeping the three people.”

“It seems they [The Police] are receiving orders from somewhere; from the Mayor, I think. This is something we do every year, and it brings a lot of benefits to the nation and especially the people of Jamestown. People make some small money from it, but it seems now they’re preventing the people from making some money without any reason. The police carried out some breakages; some guys were doing performances, and food vendors were trying to sell, and they destroyed everything.”

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‘Chale Wote’ Street Art Festival is a Ghanaian-originated platform that brings together art, music, dance, and performance unto the streets.

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