AMA Blows GH₵800,000On Xmas Rice & Oil
A seven-member committee has been constituted by the assembly members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to probe into a litany of allegations against the chief executive, Madam Elizabeth Kwaatso Sackey, following a notice of resolution to pass a vote-of-no-confidence on the city mayor.
The aggrieved assemblymembers allege thatthe AMA,which could not afford to pay staff for over three months, had used the assembly’s scarce resources to purchase rice and oil, worth more than GH₵800,000.as a Christmas package.
They said the items were purchased through sole sourcing, which is against the public financial management act, in spite of government’s directive to municipal, metropolitan and district assemblies (MMDAs) and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) not to use state resources to buy hampers during Christmas.
The assembly members, numbering 11, among others, accused the mayor of abandoning projects in the area started by her predecessor, nepotism and the use of intimidation and threats of transfer to silent all dissenting views among staff of the AMA.
The resolution notice, dated February 15,2023, addressed to the presiding member and sighted by The Anchor said, “In accordance with section 16 (3) of the model standing orders, we the under signed Assembly Members from the various electoral areas within the Accra Metropolitan Assembly move a resolution for the passage of a vote of no confidence on the Metropolitan Chief Executive, her Ladyship, Elzabeth Kwaatso Sackey.”
But the committee was formed to look into the matter after a special general assembly meeting on Monday, February 20, 2023.
Chaired by Mr. Ibrahim Tettey Ankrah, the assemblyman for the Kantsei an Electoral Area in the Okai Koi South Sub-Metro, the committee is expected to come up with a report in two weeks.
In a one-page resolution, the assembly members alleged that, “There are no tangible projects to show after more than a year as the Mayor of Accra, Abandonment of uncompleted projects within the Metropolis .eg Sempe School, Ayalolo Cluster of Schools, Cable and Wireless Millennium School, etc.”
They also alleged the AMA boss had engaged in “Frequent foreign travels with no benefit to the assembly. The Mayor is on record to have traveled with her son in all her travels at the expense of the assembly. She is even on record to have traveled with her personal assistant, her police escort and other unknown members at the expense of an already debt saddled AMA.”
“Procurement Breaches: The same AMA who could not pay staff for over 3 months, resolved to the use of sole sourcing to purchase Christmas package (rice and oil) worth over ghs 800,000 as against the public financial management act.”
“Nepotism: Since the assumption of office, her son has acted as the “Deputy Mayor” with flagrant dis-regard to laid down rules. There is also a running of family and friend’s administration where the son is a staff of local government is also the executive secretary to the same Mayor.”
“Electoral Area Projects: The electoral area project that is supposed to bring development to the door steps of the electorates is been in arrears for the past 3 years” including “The use of intimidation and threats of transfer to silent all dissenting voices among staff of AMA.”
The letter was copied to the coordinating director of the AMA, the Greater Accra Regional minister, as well as the dean of MCEs.
Mr. Alfred Asiedu Adjei, the presiding member of the assembly, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the decision was to give the mayor a fair hearing.
Mr. Adjei said, even though the assemblymen had the right to initiate a vote of no confidence against any leader of the assembly, including the mayor, due process must be followed.
According to him, when one-third members of the assembly triggered the removal of any leader of the assembly, the presiding member had within seven days to call for a meeting to debate on the issues raised, as well as, set up a committee to investigate the matter.
“So, the Assembly Members decided that they want a seven-member Committee, which a motion was moved and seconded,” he said, adding that “the Committee also agreed that they should be given two weeks, that is, ten working days for them to come up with their findings.”
During the two weeks, he said, the committee was expected to invite the mayor or her representative to respond to the issues raised by the aggrieved assembly members.
“So, they have two main points of reference: to give audience to the Mayor or representative of the Mayor and to advise the general house as to the next step that should be taken and that advice is also subject to the approval of the highest governing body, the general assembly,” Mr. Adjei said.
He added that: “For instance, they raised issue about procurement. She is entitled to come with the Procurement Director of AMA, issue about physical projects, the Works Department, she is entitled to that. So, that is the level we are now. Until the Committee comes out with its report, we all have to hold our guns and wait for the outcome of the Committee’s report.”
The presiding member also cautioned the assembly members to refrain from making further public pronouncements on the matter as that would be prejudicial to the committee’s work and its findings.
“My advice is not only to the Assemblymen, but also to the general public that, we should not be prejudicial to the Committee’s report. Let’s wait, when the Committee’s report is out then we can say what we want to say,” he urged.