National Democratic Congress ward executives and party agents in the Kintampo North constituency have registered their displeasure about “some financial malfeasance perpetrated by some constituency executives.”
“These known executives callously masterminded the misappropriation and squander of party agents/ prompters allowance in last year’s December 7 general elections,” they said in a statement issued at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The statement accused the Kintampo North constituency executives of the NDC of neglecting and abandoning those at the grassroots after winning the 2008 and 2012 general elections, hence their grouse.
“Our teeming grassroots, who sacrificed their time, energy and other resources to monitor and protect the ballots to ensure victory for the party (both presidential and parliamentary) in the constituency but were denied what they toiled for, continue to express their displeasure and frustrations.
They consistently hinted of sitting aloof at next general elections if this injustice is not address properly. As concerned polling station executives, we feared this may ultimately translate into voter apathy, which we have identified as one of the attributable factors that accounted for our party’s abysmal performance in last year’s general elections,” the statement stressed.
The Polling Station executives alleged that the constituency executives were yet to pay their training allowances amounting to several hundreds of Ghana cedis, as well as allowances meant for party agents and prompters.
According to the statement, “about a week to general elections, a verbal directive was issued by the party’s election directorate to all polling stations in the constituency to present two (2) persons for recruitment as party agents.
But per cautious checks, correspondences from other nearby constituencies and subsequent attestations by the constituency chairman and secretary in a meeting held on 16/01/2017 in Nana Kyeremankomahene residence indicated that four (4) agents per polling station were supposed to be recruited according to national directives.”
The statement continued: “one hundred Ghana cedis (GH?100.00) was budgeted and disbursed per polling station to be used as training allowance for party agents as confirmed by constituency chairman.”
“However at the training center, agents were paid forty Ghana cedis (GH ?40.00) per polling station. This resulted in fiercely protestations by some agents because they got the information that each person was supposed to be paid twenty-five Ghana cedis (GH ?25.00) after training but they were blatantly and disrespectfully ignored. We therefore demanded for a refund of the remaining eight thousand, five hundred and eighty Ghana cedis (GH ?8,580.00) training allowance,” the statement said.
They further accused the party executives of paying half of the money due them and “pocketing” the remaining half.
“It is saddened and disappointing to learn that our hardworking party agents were paid two hundred Ghana cedis (GH ?200.00) per polling instead of four hundred Ghana cedis (GH ?400.00) as budgeted and disbursed by national to the constituency through the region. No prompter was seen at a polling station on the Election Day but their allowance amounted to two hundred Ghana cedis (GH ?200.00) for 2 persons i.e. GH ?100.00 per prompter was disbursed to the constituency,” it said.
“This practice of deliberate refusal to pay party agents before, during and after elections in this constituency has become habitual. A classic example is some party agents who sacrificed their time and energy to monitor processes of the 2016 Voter Exhibition exercise have not been paid their allowance up to date.
In fact it even took the initiatives of some polling station executives to mobilize some persons and paid them from their own pockets to go round various homes and prompt our members and supporters to come out and cast their votes,” the statement added.
The statement expressed surprise that “this was authoritatively confirmed by the constituency chairman and secretary on 16/01/2017 in a meeting at Nana Kyeremankomahene residence that no prompter was recruited by the election directorate prior to the elections.”
“It is also intriguing to know that the constituency secretary categorically said he shared some of the money among selected constituency executives as “ex gratia”. We found this to be a grave contravention of our party’s 1992 constitution because there is no article or clause in the constitution that support ex gratia to be paid a party executive when his or her tenure of office expired.
Besides these current constituency executives tenure of office shall expire in 2018 and so why the rush to award themselves ex gratia now, which in itself amounted to constitutional breaches. We therefore demanded for a refund of the twenty eight thousand and six hundred Ghana cedis (GH ?28,600.00) prompters allowance,” it continued.
The statement called on the party’s leadership at the regional level to quickly step in to resolve the issue.