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Muntaka Locked Out   
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The former Minister of Youth and Sports and MP for Asawase Constituency, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, has been dealt another blow following the locking up of his constituency office in Kumasi, owing to his inability to pay rent.

Alhaji Muntaka, who lost his ministerial portfolio after a suspected financial scandal, had been thrown out of the Asawase NDC constituency office, bringing administrative functions to a halt.
The landlady, Hajia Mariam Sheiwu, had locked out the NDC from her building for non-payment of rent. The closure, effected on Friday August 28, 2009, was allegedly necessitated by the party’s failure to pay its monthly rent of GH˘20 for nine months.

When Daily Guide visited the office situated at Bombay Building at Akwatia Line on Wednesday morning, the door had been locked with a huge padlock and the entrance barricaded with a plank of wood. The party’s name, address and other inscriptions including a portrait of Founder ex-President Jerry John Rawlings and President Atta Mills had also been defaced with blue oil paint. Saratu Sheiwu, the landlady’s younger sister who was the caretaker of the facility, explained to Daily Guide that the decision to close the office was reached after several attempts to retrieve outstanding rent arrears of GH˘180 from the party proved futile.

She said though this was not the first time the party had owed them rent, the height of arrogance exhibited towards them this time around by NDC MP for the area Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak and Constituency Secretary Salifu Bola, aggravated their anger. According to her, both the deposed Minister of Youth and Sports and the Constituency Secretary never accorded them the required courtesies anytime they called on them to discuss the issue. “Can you believe that when we called on Hon. Muntaka sometime ago to discuss the unpaid rent, he ignored us and never gave us audience,” she noted.

She alleged that though Mr. Bola promised they would come and defray part of the arrears, he never turned up and did not even bother to call and explain why. “Can you imagine that when we went to his house to enquire why they couldn’t honour their promise, he arrogantly told us they need time because they are not the only people owing in this world.”

Though she and her sister were ardent NDC supporters, Ms Sheiwu stated they would never give the office back to the ruling party even if Muntaka settled all the arrears and paid huge compensation. “We would rather prefer giving the office to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for free than giving it back to the NDC for a handsome fee,” she stressed.

Giving a background on the rent agreement which dated back to the late ‘90s, the caretaker explained that they wanted to close the office for non payment of rent prior to the Asawase bye-election in 2005 which Hon. Muntaka won, but the party quickly settled the debt. Afterwards, she disclosed, they entered into a fresh agreement which saw the then monthly rent of GH˘12 being adjusted upwards to GH˘20.

Former Constituency Chairman, Alhaji Gado, according to her, signed the agreement on behalf of the NDC. She added that though the MP and all the constituency executives were aware of the agreement, the landlady always encountered difficulties recovering the monthly rent. Because of this unpleasant development, she noted, the landlady threatened to close the office on the eve of the 2008 elections, but she was prevailed upon by some opinion leaders in the constituency, with a promise that the debt would be settled after the elections.

Source: D-Guide

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