A group of angry Assembly Members in the Ellembelle District Assembly of the Western Region have accused the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh over mismanagement of the Assembly.
The 24 concerned Assembly Members disclosed this to the media after boycotting the formation of sub-Committees of the Assembly at Nkroful on Wednesday.
According to them, they were not informed about the addition of the Agric Committee to the existing Committees.
They added that the DCE deliberately picked majority of them (Concerned Assembly Members) to be part of the newly formed Agric Committee of which according to them, do not have knowledge in that field.
Speaking exclusively to this reporter at the forecourt of Ellembelle District Assembly Administration block, the Assembly Member of Mantukwa Electoral Area, Hon. Samuel Dzivenu disclosed why they boycotted the meeting.
“They said subcommittee meeting on Agric so when we came based on the Act we have, the Assembly told us that there should be five statutory sub-committees which exist legally but Agric committee is not part. But Agric committee was dissolved in October 2019 so if they are forming new Committee then they have to call for General Assembly Meeting to introduce to the Assembly the kind of committee we have here in the Assembly but they didn’t do so, DCE didn’t do that. All we have heard is that they said they have formed a committee which is illegal.
“They said have included Agric, Mines and Environment committee which is not part of the statutory committee we have as some of us came today said it’s illegal and against the law as the District Assembly have to call on the new Assembly members tell us the kind of committee have included”, he added.
He said during the meeting, they proposed to the Assembly to add Oil and Gas Committee to the existing Committees since the District is blessed with oil and gas industry but their proposal was ruled out.
“All those things didn’t happen and all they have done is giving us letter to inform us the kind of committee we are added to. But per the Act and standing orders tell us that after forming a committee, they have to call general Assembly meeting for the members to agree and accept wholeheartedly before joining a committee”, he worried.
Absence of Presiding Member
Hon. Samuel Dzivenu lamented over the inability of the Assembly to get a Presiding Member (PM).
“It affects us a lot, it affects us in so many ways. If we get Presiding Member, everything we do the Presiding Member will be the Chairman. Presiding Member is like Speaker of Parliament. Presiding Member writes everything we do for progress of our activities but because we don’t have, things are not moving as expected in this Assembly. Our first meeting held in the inaugural meeting is where we elect Presiding Member which is Hon Asmah but he didn’t get the needed vote. They called for second meeting and that one too he didn’t win”, he lamented.
He continued, “…Even that meeting, some of us raised alarm that because we couldn’t elect Presiding Member we should set a date for another election so that we can get a Presiding Member and we the Assembly Members agreed but they boycott it and said we can go to court if we wish that we couldn’t elect Presiding Member, we can go to court.
“We all want betterment of Ellembelle so we didn’t go to court. Till now they didn’t call meeting for election of Presiding Member again. The problem is that because we don’t have Presiding Member, we are not aware of any activities going on in the Assembly.”
He, therefore, accused the DCE of doing everything in the Assembly without consulting them.
“DCE does everything. We wish to help the DCE to succeed in his project and programs but we have been elected for about ten to eleven months now, we are there, every decision been taken in the Assembly is done by the DCE alone whether Executive, Legislative or deliberative decision, he does everything on his own”, he claimed.
Misappropriation of funds
He suspected the DCE was misappropriating the resources of the Assembly hence his unwillingness to call for another general meeting to elect a Presiding Member.
“We don’t know anything about the COVID-19 funds, Ghana Gas royalties, money that came during both first, second and third quarter Assembly Members knew nothing about it, DCE does what he wants. Since inception of the Assembly, Assembly Members knew nothing about it. We knew nothing about Common Funds he has received. Legally DCE is supposed to call us through all those three quarters. We have to at least attend Assembly Meeting three times but almost about one year now Assembly hasn’t conduct single election”.
” …Meanwhile DCE want to be MP meanwhile you can’t manage 52 Assembly Members and want to control the whole Ellembelle with over 70,00 to 90, 000 population to control whilst you can’t control 52 Assembly Members for us to elect PM. When it’s your turn for DCE, you were able to control for you to be elected DCE but now we want PM yet DCE can not call for meeting for us to elect PM”, he stressed.
He stated that if the DCE doesn’t change his style of leadership, they would pass vote of no confidence in him.
“Unit committee members have collapsed, Area Council is not functioning because unit committee members elected for almost a year now are all at home. They have not been sworn in because we don’t have Presiding Member. DCE didn’t address all these things, area council won’t work”, he claimed.
He, therefore, took the opportunity, to appeal to the Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Traditional Council, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III to support the Assembly to get a Presiding Member.
The District Chief Executive, Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh in a telephone conversation rubbished their claims and described them as NDC members who had been influenced by his main contender just to sabotage him.
He also rubbished the claims that he was the one behind the inability of the Assembly to get a new Presiding Member.
“How on this earth will I Bonzoh be working against the election of Presiding Member, we have met for three times and they [Assembly Members] rejected their own so why are they blaming now”, he said.
He continued, “.. let me tell you these so called 24 concerned Assembly Members are all NDC members, they are being influenced to disturb me but I am focused, they are doing politcs, even among them that they are saying they don’t like the Agric Committee, ask them, the Assembly Member of Kikam Electoral Area, Hon. Paul Kodwo Kwaw was adjudged the best farmer in the 2017 Farmer’s Day in Ellembelle District so what are they talking about, I will call you later because I am a car traveling.”