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General News of Saturday, 10 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Soldiers’ wives petition Mahama

Wives of some retired officers of the Ghana Armed Forces have petitioned President John Mahama over unpaid pensions for several months.

“We would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency our present predicament as a result of some unexplained circumstances. As wives of ex-servicemen, we are entitled to some monthly benefits per the regulations, but over the past eight months, we have not been paid what we are due,” the aggrieved women explained in their petition.

The petition, jointly signed by Christiana Akyaa, Vida Aboagyewaa and Stella Nortey, said officialdom at the Ministries of Defence and Finance as well as the Controller & Accountant General indicated that as a result of the ongoing biometric registration to capture all government workers, their husbands were to travel to Ghana to go through the process.

According to the petition, which was copied to the Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Defence, the women said the requirement was unfavorable since most of their spouses were not engaged in any meaningful occupation.

They noted that a new system was devised by the officials to assist their husbands to fill a special form at Ghana’s Embassies where they currently reside.

The women said even though their husbands had filled the forms over two months ago in United States, their list was yet to be sent by the Embassy to the Defence Ministry for authentication and onward transfer to the Finance Ministry.

“We understand the list from the United Kingdom (U.K) has been sent to the Finance Ministry and is likely that the affected spouses would be paid this month to enable them clear their overweighing debts.

“Mr. President, what we do not understand is that the list from the USA cannot be found anywhere. We are told that when Your Excellency went to the United Nations, the Ghana Embassy handed over the list to you, which we find very unconventional.”

According to them, the Finance Ministry had insisted that without an authenticated letter from the Ghana Mission in the US, they would not be paid.

“We are facing the difficulties of living without any source of income and we therefore appeal to your Excellency to use your good offices to intervene so that the list at the Embassy could be located to activate our subsequent payment.

“We thank you in advance in anticipation of your quick intervention to bring back the smiles on the faces of your mothers and sisters,” the women concluded.