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03.03.2009 General News

Reconstitution of KMA in stalemate… It is feared Assembly would operate on partisan lines

By Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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THE RECONSTITUTION of the 86-member Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is on hold, following controversy over the representation of traditional rulers as government appointees to the Assembly.

The Chronicle has gathered that the seeming stalemate has to do with representation of Nananom at the assembly, and the fact that gurus of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are scheming an indoctrination of their respective members in the house, to have the house run on partisan lines.

The Government is expected to appoint 27 persons (30% of membership), including the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), with three traditional rulers representing the Kumasi Traditional Council.

The Kumasi Traditional Council is, however, pressing for an increase in representation, from three to six, leaving the government with the appointment of about twenty more to make up the required number.

Government sources, however, say allowing six traditional chiefs would affect the representation of other interest groups and professionals like doctors, lawyers, artisans and traders, hence the stalemate to deliberate on a more beneficial ratio and modality.

As at Friday February 19, a list of 30 names, over and above the required number, had been released, but the nominated government appointees could not be confirmed by the house.

Once the Assembly is reconstituted, it would be faced with yet another hurdle of who becomes the next Presiding Member of the House, after the Adumhene, Baffour Adjei Kesse V, whose two-year tenure of office ended last October 30.

While elected members would want a colleague to steer the affairs of the Assembly as Presiding Member, the government is scheming to have a member, preferably a traditional ruler, to preside over deliberations of the Assembly, and take custody of the bye-laws for effective implementation, and the efficient day-to-day running of the House.

The argument is that three traditional rulers, namely Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah, Asokore Mamponghene, Nana Nsiah Awuah, and lately, the Adumhene, Baffour Adjei Kesse, alias of Chris Kufuor, who had previously been appointed Presiding Member and had not impacted on the operations of the Assembly.

Meanwhile, members of the house have cautioned the government, to appoint a person who would be acceptable by the people, because a reconstituted KMA would not tolerate any MCE who runs the KMA on partisan lines, since that would impede the development of Kumasi.

They would want the leadership of the house to be objective, and liaise with the traditional set up to execute the developmental agenda of the Assembly.