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01.06.2005 Crime & Punishment

Supervisors accused of pocketing wages of labourers

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Nkoranza (B/A) June 1 GNA - Labourers employed by the Forestry Commission for the Government Plantation Development programme at Ahyiayem in Nkoranza District of Brong Ahafo Region have accused their supervisors of pocketing their wages and allowances.

They asked officials of the Commission to visit the area to conduct investigations to ascertain the truth. The Labourers, numbering 40, made the appeal through Ghana News Agency at Nkoranza.

Their spokesmen were Mr Issifu Ayimboma, Mr Kwaku Nwini and Mr Adu Kwabena.

They stated that the Commission had engaged them to plant teak trees to re-afforest the depleted forest reserve of the Awora West Land, which stretches from Mampong in Ashanti through Ejura to Ahyiayem in the Nkoranza District.

They complained that the Commission earmarked 100 labourers to work on the project but the Project Supervisors had engaged only 40 of them to undertake the task while they made use of the wages and allowances for the rest.

The Labourers alleged that the Supervisors had put the names their relatives on the pay roll even though they did nothing.

The petitioners said each labourer collected about 250,000 cedis at the end of every month and had worked on the Project, popularly called HIPC Farm for a year.

They said they had reported the matter to Mr Anaclateus Dozie, Nkoranza District Coordinating Director, who had invited the Supervisors to report at his office for discussions on the matter.

Mr Dozie confirmed that the Labourers had made a report o him but said he had not been able to contact the Supervisors since they were not in Nkoranza.

Mr Samuel Acheampong, Assembly Member for Bredi Number One Electoral Area, said the Supervisors had intentionally refused to attend to the call of District Coordinating Director because they claimed they were not under him but the Offinso Forestry Department of the Ashanti Region.

The Assembly Member said sources close to the Forestry Commission had confirmed that the records showed that 100 labourers had been employed to work on the Project.

A Project Officer from the Commission, who recently visited the Project site, also confirmed the number of labourers and commended the labourers for their efforts and hard work in establishing the best farm in Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regions.

Meanwhile the petitioners alleged that the Supervisors had caused the arrest and detention of one of them, Bukamtaakure, also known as Taah by the Police at Ejura, accusing him of threatening to kill one of the Supervisors.

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