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20.05.2004 General News

Police Mechanics Malinged

By Chronicle
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Investigations by The Chronicle have established that although the Ghana Police Service is staffed with qualified technicians and mechanics who man the police workshop located near the Vehicle Examination and Licensing Division (VELD) office, the Police administration continues to sub-contract vehicle maintenance works to private garages.

Some insiders described the situation as “orchestrated plan” by the authorities to milk the police whilst the trained technicians continue to draw salaries at the expense of the taxpayer. The Chronicle's credible sources said the service mechanics and technicians at the police workshop are very competent and hard working and none of the works contracted to the private garages is beyond their capabilities.

However, the sources said the authorities intentionally recommend the use of private garages “probably to fatten their pockets through unscrupulous means.” The sources said the practice has rendered the workshop personnel idle most of the time. “The only thing you can see them doing all day is malingering and gossiping and then they go for their salaries at the end of the month.”

Funds for the maintenance and repair of broken-down police vehicles are allotted to the heads at the police headquarters, according to the paper's investigations which also established that about ¢100 million was recently released to the police administration for servicing, repairs and maintenance works.

However, the police workshop always has to go on its knees before funds are released, normally in bits and pieces. But Deputy Superintendent of Police, David Eklu, who is the director of Police Public Relations, refuted the allegations, saying it is a wrong perception by the public and “the so-called insiders within the police administration.” He told The Chronicle that the broken down vehicles are sent to private garages because of the non-availability of funds immediately for such repairs and for the purchase needed spare parts. “The private garages repair the vehicles for us on credit for our work to go on effectively until funds are made available for payment,” he said.

Another reason for sending the vehicles to private garages, he said, is that the service mechanics specialize in only Nissan Patrol and Land Rovers, but now the police have vehicles of different makes like Toyota and Peugeot.