HO ASSEMBLY PROBES MCE … Over Cantankerous Renovation

The Ho Municipal Assembly has set up a five-member committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the renovation of the office and residence of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Fafa Adinyirah.

The members, include Emmanuel Kafui Dzamefe, Assemblyman for Lume Electoral Area, Patrick Larry Stone, Assemblyman for Atikpoe-Nyive Electoral Area, Mr. Ransford  Delali Kasu, Assemblyman for Klefe Electoral Area, Happy Sheebah Aloryito, Assemblyman for Ho-Toviadzi and Togbe Kasa III,  Chief of Ho-Ahoe, who is a government appointee.

Among the terms of reference of the committee include finding out the circumstances under which the MCE unilaterally took the decision to refurbish her residence and office without recourse to the procurement law and other rules and regulations of the Assembly, regarding such works.

The committee has two weeks to submit its findings and recommendations to the Assembly for consideration. The renovation exercise, according to some aggrieved Assembly members, was carried out at the instance of Mrs. Adinyira, without the consent and subsequent approval of the Assembly.

The forty-one member Assembly is allegedly divided over the matter. Fifteen members are reportedly not content with the MCE’s decision and have started accusing her of causing financial loss to the Assembly, while others think her action is appropriate.

The Assembly members at an emergency meeting held on Monday January 20, 2014, had a lengthy debate over the matter, with some openly telling the MCE that her actions was in contravention of the procurement laws of the land.

Others also demanded to know when Mrs. Adinyira became a procurement officer for the Assembly. At the said meeting, Mrs. Adinyira was reported to have denied ever awarding a contract for the renovation of her residence.

She told the Assembly that she only informed the Assembly’s Engineer to examine her residence whether it would demand any renovation works, but to her surprise, the roofing sheets of the building had been removed and replaced, when she recently visited the facility.

She again told the Assembly that she had bought an orthopaedic chair at the cost of GH ¢ 2,650 due to her health problems, together with some office chairs at the cost of GH ¢ 2,000 for visitors.

That notwithstanding, she told the partly aggrieved Assembly that she had changed the curtains of her office at the cost of GH ¢ 210.

But her explanations did not go down well with some members of the Assembly, who demanded for a probe into the matter.

The Municipal Engineer, Mr. Emmanuel Dogbevi, when questioned over the matter, said he only acted upon management’s directive, since termites were eating the wood used in roofing the building.

Furthermore, he said the roofing sheets of the said building were in a deplorable state and needed to be changed.

The aggrieved Assembly members, at this point, blamed the MCE for taking a unilateral decision without consulting them, since the Assembly was faced with the challenge of being focused in prioritizing its development activities.

According to the aggrieved members, the MCE was not able to state how much was spent on the renovation exercise, but their checks indicated that a whopping GH ¢ 2,000,000 was injected into the exercise. The said amount, they argued, could have been used to put up a new residence for the Assembly.

The seemingly unhappy Assembly Members said the procurement law makes it clear how work at the Assembly should be carried out, citing page 59 (a) of the Procurement Law, which states that: ‘review procurement plans in order to ensure that they support the policies and programmes of the Assembly,’ while (b) of the same page state that: “confirm the range of acceptable costs of items to be procured and match these with the available funds in the approved budget of the Assembly.’

The Assembly Members concluded that the MCE was the head of administration and that she should be ready to bear the consequences of her action at any time.

They contended that Mrs. Adinyira can not exonerate herself from the ongoing renovation project and called for work to come to a halt until the committee concludes its investigations.

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