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10.05.2005 General News

Unpaid DCEs Fear To Complain

By The Independent

As the NPP government keeps to its chest the announcement of new appointments to the position of District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executive, which many political observers and analysts say is long over due, the acting DCEs who have not received their salaries for over a period of three months have still not mustered courage to inquire about the cause of the delay.

About 30 DCEs quizzed on their silence over the non payment of their salaries, told reporters that, they could not dare to raise alarm, even though they are starving almost to death, as that might lead to their being dropped as substantive DCEs.

"How can we agitate for the payment of our salaries when our feet are hanging in our various offices," a visibly frightened DCE who wants to retain his post told this reporter last Friday. He volunteered, "we have all withdrawn our savings from the banks to keep us and our families going, all because we want to retain our positions."

Investigations conducted by The Independent further established that prior to January 7th, 2005 a letter from the presidency informed them that their term of office had expired on January 6th, 2005 but not long after that another message from the presidency this time round informed all the 110 DCEs to act pending their re-appointment or otherwise.

The letter terminating their appointment, investigations revealed, stated in clear terms that the Controller and Accountant-General's office had been instructed to stop payment of their salaries forthwith. The message, according to all DCEs this reporter talked to, did not specify any mode of payment of their salaries or allowance for the period within which they were to act as DCEs. According to the DCEs, the last time they were paid any money was in January when they received what could be said to be half of their salaries, after which they have not received any salaries or allowance.

They said the signal which turned them into DCEs gave them the assurance that the Controller and Accountant-General's outfit was going to be notified of the change in status accordingly. This the DCEs explained perhaps accounted for the slash in their January salaries. But as if that was not enough, the investigations brought to the fore that government about two weeks ago issued a fiat that sought to ban all acting DCEs from taking major decisions including awarding contracts in their various districts in their acting capacities.

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