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"Ex-Gratia Should Be Scrapped" – Kwesi Pratt Jnr.
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Audio Attachment:The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. says the practice of paying gratuity or Ex-Gratia to public office holders under Article 71 of the country’s 1992 constitution should be discontinued with immediate effect.

Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr.
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The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., says the practice of paying gratuity or Ex-Gratia awards and emoluments to ex-Presidents and public office holders under Article 71 of the country’s 1992 constitution should be discontinued with immediate effect.

Mr. Pratt believes the package is useless and irrelevant “in our current economic state.”

Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo”, the outspoken social commentator said the package in addition to retirement benefits of salary until death, was "a wicked idea and would not serve the larger interest of the public nor does it make economic sense."

He was re-echoing similar sentiments expressed by another panelist on "Kokrokoo", aspiring National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, who had earlier called for a cessation of the practice.

President Mills on Thursday disclosed that the Ex-Gratia due to Ex-President Kufuor had been paid. According to him, the payments were made based on the recommendations of the Ishmael Yamson Committee, which he set up to review the Chinery-Hesse Committee report on Ex-gratia for public office holders under Article 71 of the constitution during the previous government.

But, Kwasi Pratt Jnr, who is also a leading member of the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), a political pressure group, says it is unnecessary.

“Why should someone be allocated 6 chauffeur driven cars, 3 houses (including an office), a pension allowance, twice a year travel with the family to any place of their choice at the expense of the taxpayer?...It is pure greediness…Checks conducted indicate that the President takes home a little over GH˘5,000.00 a month in addition to his ex-gratia. Why?” he queried.

Mr. Pratt also lambasted Members of Parliament (MPs), accusing them of being egoistical in their demand for gratuity. He averred that if Parliamentarians really sympathized with and respected Ghanaians, they would have stopped taking such “huge ex-gratia.”

“They never thought of their constituencies but rather had more interest in their ex-gratia being paid….Hon. E.T. Mensah, MP for Ningo-Prampram for instance had been in Parliament since 1992…he has received so many ex-gratia which has flourished his personal life, yet his constituency lacks basic infrastructure….,” he alleged.

“I tell you, if a second look is not taken at this ex-gratia package, soon all Ghanaians would take to politics, clamouring for positions….politics will then become messier,” he stated.

"Rejection Of Ex-Gratia"

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor is reported to have rejected a cheque meant as payment for his ex-gratia last month.
Meanwhile, there seems to be no end in sight to the controversy surrounding the appropriate ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents and Article 7 office holders.

President Mills yesterday in a media interaction with Senior Journalists at the Castle Gardens, Osu, to field varied questions to mark his first anniversary in office, revealed that the government had ‘made some payments’, to the two former Presidents; Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor in relation to their ex-gratia awards and emoluments.

However, in an exclusive interview with The New Crusading Guide, spokesperson for former President Kufuor, Frank Agyekum sharply denied that former President Kufuor had received any money from the government as part of his ex-gratia.

He explained that somewhere in December last year, a youngman visited the residence of former President to sign and receive the cheque but he refused to sign.

Mr. Agyekum continued that, “We asked the youngman on which committee’s report was the cheque issued but he said he could not tell so we asked him to take the cheque back for the proper thing to be done”.

Moreover, according to Mr. Agyekum, since entitlements for Article 7 office holders were not only about money but also about facilities such as office, vehicles, etc, it was important for the former President to know which of the recommendation was being used.
Source: Alex Ofei/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana with files from The New Crusading Guide

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