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10.12.2007 Politics

More Trouble For Manya DCE

By Daily Guide

HON. DAVID Sakitey Asare, Chief Executive of the Manya Krobo District Assembly, who was recently cited by some members of the assembly for various questionable acts including possible heavy financial loss and abuse of power, is in hot waters.
Bennett Akuaku

Documents available to DAILY GUIDE indicate that several weeks after the presiding member Emanuel Agyarko had failed to act on their concerns, the members have gone to the higher authorities, vowing they would not allow the apparent mess in the district to be swept under the carpet.

They have therefore petitioned the Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, and the Minister for Finance.

The petition, dated 20th November, 2007 and signed by Hons. David Walter Yaw Hormenu (Abanse), Foster Okley (Agormanya South) and Siba Alhassan (Kpong Zongo) was also copied to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, the Eastern Regional Minister, National Public Procurement Board, CHRAJ and the media.

“We, the undersigned members of the Manya Krobo District Assembly write to call on you to, as a matter of urgency, use your good office to set a probe into the award of contracts and other non-transparent activities of Hon. DCE of Manya Krobo, which is a clear abuse of power and wanton disregard for laid down administrative procedures”, it said.

The petitioners alleged that Asare unilaterally awarded contracts of varying grades, including school blocks, roads and drainages, without passing them through tender, citing the Asesewa RC School and the Okortor Kyeredom Road rehabilitation works.

They noted that the DCE was sitting on tender evaluation reports of a new district assembly block that was released by the Regional Coordinating Council, and expressed the fear that the DCE was dragging his feet because 'his favourite' person did not win the bid.

Referring to the development as one involving conflict of interest, the petitioners alleged the DCE was craftily waiting for 120 days to elapse so he would be eligible to re-tender and ensure that 'his favourite' contractor wins.

They said there is a dangerous intention in unilaterally presenting a whole supplementary budget to government.

“The preparation of the 2007 Supplementary Budget for the district was not transparent and was not brought before any committee, let alone the General Assembly for approval as stipulated by Sections 10 and 11 of Act 462. Our understanding is that the Hon. DCE did his own budget and submitted it to the ministry to enable him access the Common Fund”.

The catalogue of allegations submitted to the President's Office, including insults and threats of arrest to those expressing opposing views, are said to be having a serious toll on and fast dwindling the fortunes of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“These and other sordid and unacceptable official misconducts of the Hon. DCE have indeed cast a slur on the government and it is rapidly making the NPP government very unpopular among political and non-political folks. We are of the genuine opinion that these actions, if not checked, will gradually erode public confidence in the good works the government is doing in the district,” it concluded.

DAILY GUIDE published the story when it first broke and was brought to the attention of the presiding member in early November. The paper is reliably informed of an induced rejoinder, which was crafted at a recent ceremony at Asesewa to mark the creation of the new Upper Manya Krobo district.

In a related development, the DCE is entangled also in a tug of war with a task force he put together to collect market tolls and conveyance fees for the assembly for a commission.

Even though the task force generated ¢192 million in two months, the assembly had failed to make good an agreement to pay the about 30 percent to the group.

Meanwhile, facts behind a ¢40 million hotel bill presented to the assembly, which had been uncovered and had set tongues wagging, would be made public soon. Stay Tuned.