Tension Rages Over Parliament’s Flats
The office of Parliament has maintained that the current occupants of its bungalow, Block 5 No. 30, located at South-East Ridge, Accra, are not ex-GNTC staff and therefore could be justifiably and appropriately be described as "squatters."
Mr Ebenezer Ahumah Djietor, a Senior Assistant Clerk who made this pronouncement, was speaking to The Daily Dispatch in reaction to a media release issued by a group describing itself as "Retrenched Employees Association of GNTC" and which sought to debunk Parliament's claim that squatters have encroached on one of its bungalows as reported in the Tuesday, July 12, 2005 edition of the Dispatch.
"The people in occupation are not ex-GNTC staff. They have no claim in the judgement debt," insisted Mr Djietor. The said release signed by Messrs Thomas T. Boison, Daniel D. Dosoo and Ralph Gorleku, stated in part that "the Senior Assistant Clerk who fortunately is gainfully employed and suitably housed with all lunges to go with in an era of unemployment chose to describe the occupants of the said flats whose toils built and maintained the buildings as squatters to justify their eviction." It continued that the ex-employees of the defunct Ghana National Trading Corporation (GNTC) took the government to court in connection with the payment of their End of Service Benefits (ESB) and won the case.
"As plaintiffs/judgement creditors who obtained judgement as far back as 2003," the release indicated, "we have still not been paid the judgement debt. The Senior Assistant Clerk of Parliament, who is expressly aware of the fact that the building under discussion like many others across the country and abroad is attached to judgement debt, wrote letters to occupants of the flats threatening ejection."
The release continued that "the statement that each ex-employee occupying a bungalow is owing rents in arrears of ¢200 million is a blatant lie and a figment of his own imagination. "The Senior Assistant Clerk has been informed that the rent effected from the benefits to be paid to occupants and arrangements to that effect are being worked out. The exact amount to be deducted per beneficiary is not yet known."