Kwaebibirem District Assembly members demand ex-gratia

Since the dissolution of the last assembly of the Kwaebibirem District Assembly in September not a pesewa had been paid to its members as ex-gratia.

The assembly had settled for GH¢650 as ex-gratia despite initial demand for GH¢1,000.

But the assembly said in the light of its precarious financial position it would not be able to pay anything to members who served the assembly for four years.

As a result of this, some of the assembly members who are also in the present assembly have given the assembly a one- week ultimatum to pay them or they would advise themselves.

Speaking at a press conference at Kade on Wednesday, the aggrieved members said they did not understand why the assembly was reluctant to fulfill its obligation.

Their main spokesman, Mr Emmanuel Woode, the member for the Atobriso electoral area, said it could not be true that members did not help to generate enough revenue into the Internally Generated Fund (IGF) of the assembly.

Ex-gratia is paid from the IGF and the strength of the fund is usually the determinant factor in settling how much should go to members for their four-year stewardship.

They said they were aware that the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC) paid GH¢85,000 into the assembly’s coffers.

Mr Agyei Boakye, member for Abaam electoral area, said after members had been silent over the issue for eight months some of them decided to go to the assembly to find out what was happening and they were promised that matters would be settled in two weeks.

He said they reported on the appointed day only to meet police personnel armed with tear gas.

Mr J.K Larkai, member for Ntronang electoral area, said when some members went to attend the last sitting of the assembly they were walked out and the police were again called in despite the fact that they did not go there to disturb proceedings, noting that assembly proceedings were open to any member of the public.

In an interview with the District Chief Executive, Mr Emmanuel Osae, said it was not true that the assembly was refusing to pay the ex-gratia.

He said the plain truth was that he came to meet no money in the IGF when he assumed office five months ago.

Mr Osae said he could not be blamed for the current situation adding that the assembly was now doing everything possible to generate enough revenue to enable members to be paid their ex-gratia.

He said while he sympathized with them there was nothing that he could do at the moment and called for restraint and understanding.

Source: GNA

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