MLGRD’s directive for payment of ex-gratia illegal – ChaLoG
The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has described as discriminatory and illegal a directive from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) on the amount to be paid to past Assembly Members as ex-gratia.
According to ChaLoG, the sector Ministry had directed all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) pay Assembly Members who had successfully served their four year term between GH¢1,000 and GH¢2,500 based on the status of the Assembly they served in.
A statement signed by Dr. Richard Fiadomor and Mr Romeo Akahoho, President and Executive Secretary respectively, said according to the directive, members from a district assembly were to receive GH¢1,000 while those who served at a municipality or metropolis would respectively receive GH¢1,500 and GH¢2,500.
According to them, the directive was highly discriminatory and contravened Article 11 (2) of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) with Amendment (Act 980).
The Act, they stated read, “The emoluments of a Presiding Member of a District Assembly and other Members of the District Assembly shall be determined by the District Assembly’s own resources”.
The Chamber said it was convinced beyound all reasonable doubts, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development was not clothed with the legal authority to issue “any such discriminative directive to MMDCEs on the payment of Ex-Gratia (emoluments) to Assembly Members as this is an affront to the Local Government Act, 2016 (ACT 936) with Amendment (Act 940)”.
They therefore called on the sector Minister to as a matter of urgency withdraw the directive and allow the full implementation of the Act in deciding of the ex-gratia to be paid outgoing Assembly Members in their respective MMDAs.
Former assembly members deserved a better end of term emolument adding that their respective MMDAs which they served for four years should be given the free hands to pay them their ex-gratia in accordance with the law, the statement said.
ChaLog, indicated that they would closely monitor the payment of the ex-gratia across the country to ensure the illegal discriminative directive was not carried through adding that they shall take the necessary legal steps to see to the fullest compliance to the laws governing emolument payment to assembly members.