Was Wereko-Brobbey Pushed?
....We were told he resigned WEREKO-BROBBY's 'SPECIAL' TREATMENT Accra, April 25, Chronicle - THE QUESTION OF whether Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby was actually fired or resigned following his disastrous tenure at the helm of the Volta River Authority, came to the fore last week when the question of his 'compensation package' became a hot issue across several breakfast tables and discussions across on the electronic media across the country.
It is given that any one who resigns his position in any private or public entity forfeits any entitlement due him, but by a huge effort at spin doctoring, the issue has now been turned to what should be given him and why there has been a delay in giving him is him.
Chronicle has also learnt that Wereko Brobby stripped up the VRA official CEO residence of virtually all furniture that he had specially ordered knowing that he could take them away as his retirement package when his time came up.
Investigations further reveal that as of today, not even an inventory or inspection has been conducted on the property, an obvious indication that the board gave him a preferential treatment seeking to flout this policy by allowing Dr Brobby to overstay the residence since he vacated it in January 2005.
The paper gathered that at a point in time, the director of the authority's estate department instructed that no inventory be taken at Tarzan's official residence until his vacation (which has not been undertaken till date). ASSETS When a security detail at Tarzan's residence noted in one of his weekly reports the removal of an air conditioner and other valuable chattel and informed his supervisor one retired army Major Ayensu Kumi, he got into trouble and was chastised for obviously poking his nose into Tarzans 'private' affairs.
The major forwarded the report to the acting deputy chief executive in charge of resources Rev.I.N Ghansah - Tarzan's man, who summoned the security man before Dr Wereko-Brobby and sternly warned him to desist from writing such reports about the removal of assets from the residence.Reverend Ghansah is alleged to have pulled the security man by the color of his shirt. In contrast, Gilbert Dokyi, the manwho was replaced as CEO by Wereko-Brobby was treated shabbily by Wereko-Brobby and his Board Chairman Dr. Jones Ofori Atta thrown out of the board following reports of mass 'chop chop'.
The authority failed to pay him his due for years and Tarzan personally portrayed him as an unkempt man who kept up the official residence filthy, thus justifying an extensive retooloing and refitting. He made these derogatory remarks at a press conference.
Dr. Wereko-Brobby himself indicated publicly that he was expecting something but was coy about the quantum due him.
“I don't know the amount I am to receive as my settlement package'. Wereko-Brobby chose to use the word 'settlement package,' an euphemism for his end of service benefit (ESB). He continued: 'all that I know is that, when you resign from a workplace, be it VRA or any other organization, there is an established package according to the terms of employment and the regulations of the company.
As of now, there are negotiations going on and it has not been completed for me to know whether I am entitled to a penny or a million.” PROVIDENT FUND The man who was nicknamed Tarzan (by Mr. Totobi Quakyi, former head of National Security), lamely noted, “I have not received any amount and I am not even aware of my package. They are still negotiating. It is unfortunate that the newspapers want to use my name and Mr. Rawling's name to sell their papers,” he said.
However a document dated 28th July 2004, under the terminal provident fund benefit signed and written by Isaac K Aidoo, Secretary of the fund to Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, stated that thirty two million, nine hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred and thirty-two cedis twendy-six pesewas (¢32,953,632,26) being terminal provident fund entitlement with a Prudential Bank Ltd cheque number 439487 was paid out to him in line with the authority's policy. An amount of Fourteen million, one hundred twenty two thousand, nine hundred and eighty-five cedis; twenty-five pesewas (¢4,122,985.25) was deducted as retention which would be paid to him upon his vacation from VRA institutional house.
He was, therefore requested to sign the pay voucher and return it to the bearer for the Authority's records.
Speaking on the issue, he still declined to state categorically that a particular amount was due him. Asked about the settlement package of his predecessors, Tarzan claimed he had since not met any of them and could not tell what was due them. Records available, however, show the excessively mean treatment Tarzan meted out to his predecessor, Gilbert Dokyi. This paper's check at the Manpower and Employment ministry, following the ex-CEO of VRA's assertion on radio, indicates that in the case where one notifies his employers three clear months before his resignation, he is considered a three-month salary in lieu of notice.
On the contrary, if one failed to duly notify his employers of his intention to resign, he is neither paid any salary in lieu but rather prosecuted for flouting a contractual agreement.
Interestingly, the case of Wereko-Brobby neither meets the former nor the latter classification since he either resigned or better to say, 'separated' as in the VRA's own words 'under controversial circumstances.'
Wereko-Brobby who had been squatting at his step father's Ridge residence, in a response to why the settlement package should result in negotiations, observed ;“On this matter, I would refer you to the management of the VRA. What I know was that, wherever one works, there are terms of employment and regulations as to how much to be given at the end of service or during resignation, but if you want to know the amount, it would be better to ask the VRA management.”
According to him, if he had received ¢2.28 billion as his package, he would have used it to support those suffering from leprosy. ENTITLEMENTS In our previous two stories, our paper's investigations revealed that the ex-VRA boss, whose short term of office was characterized by incessant workers' agitation, which led to his sudden, controversial resignation, was set to benefited from home ¢2,283,388,993.14 (¢2.283billion) resignation package.
Upon separating from the VRA as the Chief Executive, just after two years of the supposed four-year renewable tenure, he was served a letter signed by the board chairman, Osei Asamoa Bonsu, titled 'Entitlements upon separation from Volta River Authority,' categorically stating the benefits Dr. Wereko-Brobby was entitled to. The previous formula applied in the case of Chief Executives of the Authority.
Under his peculiar conditions, he was to be paid six months' salary of ¢187,949,999.98, in lieu of notice, as part of his redundancy terms.
Investigation reveals his official vehicle was sold to him at ¢155,745,432.56 VRA book value as at April 2004.
In the said letter, Asamoa Bonsu, a chartered accountant and personal accountant of President Kufuor, stated that at an Extra-Ordinary meeting of board members of the Authority, held on Friday March 26, 2004, the members considered the payment of Dr. Wereko-Brobby's entitlements, following his separation from the service of the VRA.
He noted further that the board had considered the senior staff's conditions of service as at the time of his separation, to which he was subject, as well as the benefits paid to previous Chief Executives of the Authority.
This, he stated, had become the precedent, which was deemed part of his underlying contract. On the substantive issues of his VRA settlement after his resignation due to controversies that surrounded his tenure of office, the presidential candidate for the erstwhile United Ghana Movement (UGM), Dr Wereko-Brobby a.k.a Tarzan, dodged the issues hiding behind the board of VRA.
In both editions of the paper's story on his entitlements, names of authorities contacted, including Tarzan himself and Asamoa Bonsu, the board chairman, were mentioned.
Dr. Wereko-Brobby strategically refused to say whether he had been paid or not. the board chairman would described the story as “wholly untrue, mischievous and a display of a fundamental level of opportunistic and totally unfair journalism,” when he was himself not forthcoming when contacted.
Credible information gathered by the paper indicate that he has been fully paid his provident fund through a Prudential bank cheque.
Though it was initially withheld pending his vacation from the authority's official residence it was released to him under what has come to be known deals as 'orders from above' by the board.
The authority's policy for those in management position clearly states that one has to vacate his official residence just six months after his separation from the authority during which a percentage of one's provident fund would be withheld against any damages caused at the residence.
In this regard, it would have enabled the authority's estate department to access the level of damages caused at the facility and equipment after an inventory and inspection team have visited and subsequently reported to the board, the nature of the residence or the level of damage for any likely action.
In the case of Tarzan, the board initially held part of the percentage but was later released on the same 'instructions from above'.