Constitutionally, the MCE is the direct representative of the president of the Republic and as such, must pursue the vision and agenda of the president. In an era that we have a president who is so passionate about the development and general welfare of the ordinary citizen, the actions and dealings of an MCE, must be congruous to this golden attribute of H. E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. In the case of the Jirapa Municipality, it is a different case all together as the MCE has become too self-centered, powerful, insensitive, incompetent and arrogant. Anyone who has patiently followed the politics of the Municipality, would notice clearly, that, indeed, there is a vast gap between the people and the Municipal Chief Executive right from the genesis of this government.
We are reliably informed that the “discredited” MCE is on the list of those lobbying to represent the president in the Municipality. This, many people say, is a wrong move as they think she should have tried something else, having betrayed not only the NPP but the people of Jirapa at large. We have also gathered very relevant information from the people and major stakeholders in the Municipality and all of the information points to the fact that, the reappointment of Hon Christine Bonbanye will spark fierce resistance.
Members of Jirapa Municipal Assembly are said to be preparing to reject the nomination of the incumbent Municipal Chief Executive Hon. Christine Bonbanye Amadu if she is re-nominated by the President for confirmation as the Jirapa Municipal Chief Executive.
Some Assembly Members who did not want their identities revealed accused the MCE of poor leadership and corruption which resulted in underdevelopment of the Municipality over the past four years of her tenure of office. The Assembly Members also accuse the MCE of dividing the hitherto united Assembly along partisan lines.
Many of the problems caused by the MCE are known by many and that will make it extremely difficult to convince anyone to confirm her appointment. For the sake of time and space, we wish to highlight topical areas to confirm her bad, incompetent and corrupt leadership.
LOSS OF DEVELOPMENT FUNDS
Jirapa Municipal Assembly lost more than one million Ghana Cedis of the DPAT III development grant due to the failure of the Municipal Assembly to meet the requirement of the District Performance Assessment Tool (DPAT) for the 2018 fiscal year. The Assembly Members attribute this loss to poor leadership on the part of the Hon. MCE.
The failure of Jirapa Municipal Assembly in the performance assessment therefore denied the people of the municipality developmental projects that would have benefited many communities and people.
DISTRICT PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT TOOL (DPAT)
The Government of Ghana in 2008, implemented a performance based grant system known as DDF (District Development Fund) as part of efforts to improve performance of district assemblies in terms of efficiency, accountability and service delivery on their core mandate of providing basic amenities to the people. The tool used for this assessment was known as the Functional Organization Assessment Tool (FOAT). In 2017 the programme was revised and renamed District Performance Assessment Tool (DPAT. A satisfactory score of an assembly in the assessment attracts financial rewards in the form of grants to support it in building the capacity of its staff to execute their mandate and also to advance the socio-economic development of the people. DPAT assessment is in two parts: Minimum Conditions (MCs) and Performance Measures (PMs). The minimum conditions look at the availability and validity of the development plans, budget, financial reports and general documentation of the activities of the Assembly while the Performance Measures deal with the assessment, interrogation and scoring performance of the MMDA in their application and implementation of plans and budgets. Both the Minimum Conditions and Performance Measures attract financial rewards in these assessments.
Unfortunately in 2018, Jirapa Municipal Assembly failed to meet the Minimum Conditions which dovetailed into the Performance Measures and resulted in the Assembly scoring 88 %. This meant that the Municipality failed to attract any financial rewards as they failed to meet the Minimum Conditions and also failed to score above the national average of above 90%.
Of all the assemblies in Upper West Region, it was only Jirapa Municipal Assembly that failed to get any allocation of the Development Grant component of the DPAT III assessment in 2018. The only grant Jirapa got was the Capacity Building Grant which all assessed assemblies were entitled to.
JIRAPA IN FOCUS
Information gathered revealed that the failure of Jirapa Municipal Assembly to pass in the 2018 assessment was self-inflicted, with many pointing accusing fingers at the MCE, Hon. Christine Bonbanye Amadu. Her actions and inactions are said to have caused the poor performance of the Assembly in the 2018 DPAT assessment leading to the Municipality being denied these funds.
Jirapa Municipal Assembly failed to meet the Minimum Conditions in the 2018 DPAT assessment due to the fact that the General Assembly could not convene a meeting to approve major working documents because the MCE had obtained a High Court injunction restraining the then Presiding Member (PM) of the Assembly from holding herself out as PM and hence she could not convene any Assembly meeting. Another reason for the failure to meet the Minimum Conditions was that the Auditor – General’s Report of that year sighted serious procurement and financial irregularities. Even though Jirapa Municipal Assembly scored 88% in all, it failed to meet the National Responsive Average of 95% to be allocated a portion of the development grant of the DACF-RFG.
HON. CHRISTINE BOMBANYE- AMADU AND JIRAPA MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY
Not long after the Assembly Members massively confirmed Hon. Christine Bonbanye Amadu as MCE, she started a power struggle for the election of a new Presiding Member of the Assembly. The attempt by the Hon. MCE to use her position to influence the elections to favour her preferred candidate did not go down well with some Assembly Members. This disagreement between the Hon. MCE and some Assembly Members degenerated into accusations and allegations of corruption against the Hon. MCE. The attempt by the Hon. Presiding Member at that time to convene a meeting of the Assembly to impeach the MCE led to two separate suits by the MCE against the Presiding Member and some other members of the Assembly. Most of the Assembly Members the Hon. MCE fought were reelected to the Assembly in 2019.
The ensuing confusion caused by the MCE brought activities of the Assembly to a standstill for over a year, rendering the Assembly dysfunctional and leading to the loss of the DPAT development grants.
MCE AND ASSEMBLY STAFF
The MCE is also said to have a bad working relationship with the staff of the Assembly. Over her four year tenure of office, the MCE is said to have worked with four different coordinating directors. She is also accused of causing the transfers of the Internal Auditor, the Records Officer and Engineer of the Assembly.
Information available indicates that it took the intervention of leaders of Jirapa Youth Development Association and other stakeholders from the Regional Coordinating Council to plead with disgruntled officers at the Municipal Assembly to agree to cooperate with the Assessment Team in the immediate past assessment for 2019. The Hon. MCE is said to have showed no interest in the assessment, unlike her colleagues elsewhere who in the Region who were seen around and encouraging staff to cooperate to the best of their ability. Some staff of the Assembly were reported to be disappointed in the MCE when she openly fought officers who were not willing to compromise the procurement process for the 2017 DPAT project to favor her herself and her cronies.
NPP YOUTH AND SYMPATHIZERS
Youth of the governing NPP and other sympathizers of the party in Jirapa are apprehensive about the coming back of Hon Christine into office as MCE. Some claim that the Regional Minister and other senior party members in Wa are trying to impose the MCE on the party in Jirapa. According to them, it would be in the interest of both the Party in Jirapa and the people of Jirapa at large if the Party chooses a more accommodating, hardworking and unifying personality as MCE rather than maintaining the incumbent. It would be recalled that Party youth in Jirapa embarked on a number of demonstrations calling on the President to revoke the appointment of Hon. Christine Bonbanye Amadu as MCE for Jirapa.
Many people we spoke to in Jirapa said they expect their Assembly Members to vote to reject the nomination of Hon. Christine Bonbanye Amadu if she is re-nominated. From information on the ground, it appears Jirapa Municipal Assembly may soon be in the news again for the wrong reasons if Hon. Christine Bonbanye Amadu is re-nominated as MCE for Jirapa.
Hon Christine has become a “poisoned” to the political fortunes of the NPP in the Jirapa Municipality. The evidence is so glaring. The Representative of the President must be somebody who represents the vision and agenda of the president and not otherwise. The actions and inactions of Hon. Christine is a walking contradiction to the vision of the president. The appointment of such a leader will further dwindle the efforts of the party. The party has been managing with her since and we cannot continue with her. We need a competent and unifying personality.
Nunle Jonathan Yonye
(Concerned Youth Activist)