However, a press release issued by the District coordinating Director, Oheneba Apau-Danquah, described as ‘misleading’ the amounts quoted in the said publications, stating that “donation to Chiefs at festivals, funeral donations and T&T are not major expenditure items on the books of the Assembly.”
Below are excerpts of the 8 page release
“We refer particularly to the news item or publications carried by the June 29th Edition of the Chronicle newspaper and Joy News item of Wednesday July,15 arising purportedly from an Audit Report of the Assembly covering the Assembly’s operations for the year 2014.(Joy FM also referred to some operations of the Assembly this year).
In the two publications that dwelt mainly on the said Audit Report, wild allegations were made against the Assembly which referred to the expenditure of over half a million cedis being spent on “donations to Chiefs at festivals, travelling and transport allowances, funeral donations, independence and farmers day celebrations, etc
“Donation to Chiefs at festivals, funeral donations and T&T are not major expenditure items on the books of the Assembly. According to the Joy News reporter, “the Assembly has spent half a million Ghana Cedis of its Common Fund for 2014 and 2015 on funerals and donations to chiefs and Queen mothers among other things at a time when the road infrastructure and other development projects are in dire condition”.
For example donations to Chiefs/Queen mothers and communities at festivals for January – December 2014 amounted to GHC11, 429.00 only and this included funeral donations. Transport and traveling expenditure covering the 12months period of 2014 was GHC33, 923.00. Expenditure on Farmers Day including cost of awards presented to deserving farmers amounted to GHC 27,707 whilst Independence Day celebrations across the district amounted to GHC 10,072.”
“Figures being bandied about concerning expenditure on the above-mentioned items amounting to several millions of Cedis are not consistent with those on our Books. As a matter of fact, our total receipts of the Common Fund for 2014 do not add up to half a million cedis which was said to be spent on donations, T&T and the like according to the publication.”
“We also refer to Joy News publication which stated that, “construction works on the Dzolokpuita-Bame road which started a year ago have been suspended because there is no money” and that “workers are at home waiting for funds to be released” and that “the only hope was the District Assemblies Common Fund” emphasizing that “the money has been used for something else”.
We want to state categorically that, the road works on this stretch of road started in 2010 before the creation of this district and that it has been awarded on contract since 2010 and hence does not depend or is not funded from the District Common Fund. The good news is that Government has taken steps to have this road and many others completed before the end of the year to put back smiles on the faces of the people.”
“What is the main motive behind these publications?
“Our own investigations have uncovered a plot by some elements within the district to cause negative and hair-raising publications in the media based on some documents including accounting and audit reports leaked or hijacked from the Assembly‘s records. Such reports are to be embellished and put in the public domain via the press to trigger panic and havoc that will lead to massive demonstrations across the district to cause disaffection that would possibly lead to the removal and dismissal of certain key officers of the Assembly.”
“We are aware that a series of press publications are to follow those already published possibly within the week or so, to give credence to allegations already made and to justify demonstrations that are being feverishly planned.”