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15.01.2009 Regional News

Confusion in Sekondi-Takoradi Assembly… Over contract extension of Coordinating Director

By Alfred Adams Takoradi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Some District, Municipal and Metropolitan Coordinating Directors in the Western Region, have complained about, what they perceive to be a discriminatory contract extension for the Coordinating Director of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Mr. Clement Danduri.

The contract extension has also attracted the wrath of some of the elected assembly members under the STMA, who have waded into the issue, threatening to pass a vote of no confidence in the man in question, at the next assembly meeting.

This is because they do not comprehend why the man had reached his retiring age, and still continued to be in office. Some of the assembly members, who spoke to this reporter, expressed shock over Danduri's continued stay in office, asking if he was immune to retirement.

The assembly members have faulted the outgoing Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of the Assembly, Mr. Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, for improperly recommending the contract extension of the man, since the latter knew very well that he (Danduri) had reached his retiring age.

Mr. Danduri was supposed to have retired in 2007, but was given contract by the head of the Civil Service, to remain in office till December 2008, which had since been extended. This reporter can report that agitation among the District and Municipal Coordinating Directors was basically not about the incompetence of the man at the center of the agitations, but the number of times he had been granted an extension of contract.

Several attempts by this reporter to speak to the MCE, to explain the rationale behind the recommendation by the Assembly to extend the contract of the Coordinating Director, proved futile.

Mr. Danduri has been at post as the STMA Coordinating Director for over ten years now, and has reached his retirement age. During his ten-year duty as the STMA Coordinating Director, he had never been transferred, though the Civil Service code states that a civil servant could not be at a particular post for more than a five year period. Speaking in a telephone interview with this paper, Mr. Danduri confirmed that indeed his contract had been extended, arguing that this was a normal practice in the civil service. He also confirmed that this was the second time his contract, as Coordinating Director of the STMA, had been extended by the Civil Service Council. He told this reporter, 'I applied to the Service Council, and my contract was extended, this is normal in the civil service, and is done anywhere.” But some aggrieved District and Municipal Coordinating Directors told this paper that the man did not use the appropriate channel to get his contract extension. According them, Danduri should have applied to the Civil Service Council (CSC) for the contract extension, and not the head of the Civil Service, as the latter had done to get his contract extension. For that reason, they were calling for an investigation into the circumstances that led to the granting of contract extension. Again, the aggrieved District and Municipal Coordinating Directors quoted the Civil Service Law of 1993, the Provisional National Defence Council Law 327 section 66 (1) and (2) which states that “contract applicant are approved only for specialised jobs which only the applicant possesses and nobody. Where such a situation is given, the applicant has to be brought one step down.” What this code means, is that Mr. Danduri, who has been granted one-year contract, has to give up the Coordinating Directorship post, and rather take up the Deputy Coordinating Director position. But this was not the case, and therefore breached the Civil Service code.

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