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Blows At Assembly Meeting; MCE, MCD Hire Thugs To Beat Assembly Members In Wenchi?
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Credible information reaching Today indicates that the office of the Wenchi Municipal Assembly (WMA) in the Brong Ahafo Region was virtually turned into a boxing ring on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.

That development, Today gathered, happened when well-built macho-men severely beat up Assembly Members numbering about forty-two (42) on the orders of the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD) of the Assembly, Mrs. Louisa Benon and the  Municipal Chief Executive Officer (MCE), Mr. Alhaji Hakibu Dawuda without any provocation.

The attack on the assembly members, Today understands, was as a result of the demand for an explanation by the assembly members on why the MCE and the MCD invited unit committee members, government and appointees in the Assembly to a capacity building workshop as pretext to allegedly cover up their malfeasance.

The programme, which was called at the instance of both the MCE and the MCD, Today uncovered during its investigations, was to cover up an alleged payment of GHC65,000 by the MCE and the MCD to two consulting firms— Sonamia Consults and Kavinang. This, however, turned out to be untrue.

Following this development, the aggrieved assembly members have served notice that they will be filing a writ at the Sunyani High Court to quash what transpired at yesterday’s capacity building workshop and to cite both the MCE and the MCD including all those who participated in the event for contempt.

They further threatened that they will petition Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice on abuse of power by the MCE and the MCD.

During the first session of the Second Ordinary Meeting of the seventh Assembly on Thursday, June 23, 2016, the assembly members,  Today learnt, accused the MCE and the MCD of “wrongfully” approving and certifying  the payment of GH¢65,000 from its coffers to the  two consulting firms-Sonamia and Kavinang Consults- without  any work done.

Documentary evidence chanced upon by Today which was provided by the assembly members to substantiate their claim indicated that the MCE in consultation with the MCD, Presiding Member (MP) and Municipal Chief Engineer approved the payment of GH¢15,000 to Sonamia Consults and GH¢ 45,000 to Kavinang Consults amounting  to GH¢65,000 without recourse to the Local Government Law.

What angered them most was the claim by the MCE and the MCD that they used the said money to organise a capacity building training programme on the Local Government Act for two hundred and fifty-five (255) persons who were assembly members, revenue collectors and unit committee members.

In a request letter dated Sunday, May 5, 2016 submitted to the MCE for consideration of payment under the District Development Facility (DDF), “we (Sonamia Consults) wish to request for payment under the District Development Facility (DDF) for the following training programmes organised in the Wenchi Municipal Assembly.”

The letter, which was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sonamia Consults, Mr. Ahassan Baba Yunus, spelt out beneficiaries for the training programme who included assembly members, revenue collectors and unit committee members.

The training description, according to the above letter, also included report writing, basic laws and regulation that govern sub-districts.

Other areas of the training were new revenue mobilisation strategies and methods.

But, according to the assembly members, no programme of such nature was held to warrant such an approved budget by the MCE.

This revelation came to light during the June 23, 2016 meeting when the Assembly Member of Ahenfie Electoral Area, Hon. Kaasim Mohammed, tendered in the payment document of Sonamia and Kavinang Consults.

Mr. Mohammed in an open display of anger questioned the Assembly why it ordered payment for a programme which did not come off in the first place.

But the MCD quickly jumped to the defence of the consulting firms.

She said although they never organised any such training programe the Assembly members as indicated in the document, the Assembly had far-advanced plans to organise a training programme for the Assembly members, revenue collectors and unit committee members.

Speaking in an interview with Today via telephone yesterday, Mr. Kassim Mohammed expressed worry over the matter and wondered why the MCE and MCD jointly approved and certified the withdrawal of GHC65,000 to be paid  to the consulting firms when in actual sense they said programme did not come off.

To this end, he called on President John Dramani Mahama to intervene by way of setting up a committee of enquiry to investigate the circumstances under which the money was taken and reasons for that action.

However, several efforts by Today to get both the MCE and the MCD to respond to the allegations proved futile as they refused to answer several test messages and calls sent to their mobile phones.
Source: Today Newspaper

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