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23.08.2002 General News

Apply Zero Tolerance - Sefwi Wiawso District Assembly

By Chronicle
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The out-going members of the Sefwi Wiawso District Assembly, in the Western Region, have called on the government to use its policy of zero tolerance for corruption to cause an independent forensic audit into the accounts of the assembly to forestall any imbalances, which the out-going assembly may have in stock for the incoming one.

Addressing the last meeting of the assembly at Sefwi Wiawso last Monday, the out-going Presiding Member (PM), Hon. Herod Cobbina, who made the call on behalf of his colleagues, said a forensic audit into the accounts of the assembly has become necessary because no development projects of the assembly has ever gone on contract ever since the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Kofi Ahenkorah, took office.

According to him, a whopping amount of over ¢1.5 billion has been spent on projects that were awarded on contract without the knowledge and approval of the assembly.

He gave the breakdown of some of the projects that were not awarded on contract so far as his outfit was concerned as the construction of a pipeline to the mortuary, which cost ¢6,310,000, renovation of school blocks at Asiekrom, Mpoman, Cholicholi, Wuruwuru and Kaina all at the cost of ¢69,500,000, the withdrawal of ¢30 million from the Common Fund to paint the DCE's bungalow without the mandate of the House and the purchasing of roofing sheets, cement and bulbs for some selected chiefs in the district for the construction of palaces.

This is also at a cost of ¢800 million.

He also mentioned the construction of nurses quarters which cost an astronomical figure.

All these projects, Hon. Cobbina revealed, did not go through the tender process as directed by the relevant laws because the various sub-committees of the assembly had been crippled and not encouraged to function.

"The decision-making role assigned to the assembly was taken over by the executive committee under the DCE, Mr. Kofi Ahenkorah, and the co-ordinating director," he added.

The out-going Presiding Member (PM) further told the tension-packed last meeting of the assembly that the office of the PM was also sidelined in the disbursement of the Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) and the Social Investment Fund (SIF) where he should have constitutionally chaired the disbursement.

"It was due to these anomalies and other issues, which are not known to me but to others which prompted some of the assembly members to pass a vote of no confidence for the removal of Mr. Ahenkorah as our DCE.

A resolution to that effect was passed and supported by one-third of the members of the assembly and handed over to me on June 18, this year for action," he said.

Hon. Cobbina further said just as he was about to act on the resolution sent to him by the assembly members, he received a writ of summons from the Sefwi Wiawso High Court restraining him from and the district assembly from holding any meeting to pass the vote of no confidence in the DCE.

According to him, the writ was filed by one David Damptey, who described himself as the NPP Sefwi Wiawso constituency chairman.

He further told the seemingly angry-looking assembly members that on the same day the writ was served on him, Alhaji Isahq Asuru, the district co-ordinating director, quickly wrote letters informing assembly members and heads of departments of the court's injunction order and the cancellation of the proposed meeting, "even though we had earlier refused to write similar letters to convene the assembly meeting."

"To this end, I as the PM together with the assembly members call for an independent forensic audit into the accounts of the Sefwi Wiawso district assembly to forestall any imbalances which the about-to-be-dissolved assembly may have in stock for the in-coming district assembly members," he stated.

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