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General News of Monday, 29 April 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Casual workers for referendum to be paid by next week – EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has received funds from the Finance Ministry to pay temporary staff engaged during the referendum for new regions held in December 2018.

Voting took place in the Volta, Western, Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions which resulted in the creation of six new administrative regions, Oti, Ahafo, Bono East, Western North, Savannah and North East.

But the delays in payment prompted some of the people who were recruited as casual workers by the Electoral Commission to agitate for their allowances.

Speaking to questions on the matter raised by Kumbungu MP, Ras Mubarak, Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, said the Finance Ministry had provided “a warrant indicating that they had released the money to us so we just started processing these obligations.”

“We were only notified on Thursday the letter from the ministry that they had released the monies for us so immediately we started processing these obligations.”

As a timeline, she said, “by the end of next week, payment would have been made.”

Jean Mensa, while answering questions before the Public Accounts Accounts Committee, also assured that the welfare of the workers was her concern as she expects to use the same staff for future exercises.

“Usually, when you have these staff, they end up being the same ones that we use and it has been a great source of worry to us.”

Meanwhile, the Chairperson also condemned the Commission’s movement of large sums of physical cash in its transactions.

The 2016 Audit Report observed that the Commission, in July 2014, moved over GHc12 million in cash to pay off temporary staff who supervised district level elections at the time.

Jean Mensa says though expensive, the Commission may have to rely on the mobile money platforms to make the payments.

“We have to pay a commission and at the end of the day you would realise the commission will have to incur more costs,” she noted.