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General News of Monday, 29 February 2016

Source: ultimate1069.com

Techiman MCE accused of diverting State funds


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The Techiman Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) Philip Oppong Amponsah has come under a scathing attack by a group calling itself the Action Patriots for Justice for his role in alleged shady deals in the allocation of Market Stores in the Municipality.

At a press conference in Techiman, the group accused the MCE of allegedly diverting funds of the assembly realized from the allocation of the said stores from market women into a private account.

According to the group, the award and the construction of the stores in question also failed to follow through due process breaching portions of the procurement act.

Isaac Kwain, spokesperson of the group question why the MCE in a letter January 25, 2016, directed market women to pay cost of rent into a private account when the assembly has several bank accounts.

He further accused the MCE of conniving with private individuals of attempting to siphon state funds into a private account calling on him to explain to residents why he took a unilateral decision to do that.

Read Details of the Release of the group below:

It has become very necessary for us to wade into the Techiman Market Stores fracas which has been going on since 2009.

In the first place the procedure and the documentation which led to T&K winning the contract to build the market stores on Build Operate and Transfer basis was improperly done and constitute illegality. When a contract is given on BOT basis the contractor and the Municipal Assembly should submit a design and there after come out with quantities.

All these were not done but T&K went ahead to construct the store rooms at his own will and accord. The sad aspect of this shady contract is that T&K received huge sums of monies from these poor market women which led to over subscription. As at this particular time we are speaking, more than one hundred and fifty women and men have paid their contribution but have not yet received their stores.

As it stands now these women have no money to trade with as their monies have locked up in the bank account of T&K. This has led to many children dropping out from school with their mothers who in some cases are bread winners living from hand to mouth

We have in our possession a partial report of committee on disputes resolution. The committee was put in place by the Techiman Municipal Assembly to resolve some problems at the market. One of their terms of reference is to examine the Memorandum of Understanding between the Assembly and T&K Construction Ltd. In respect of stores in the central market it came out very clear that there were no records on any file at the assembly on how T&K was offered the job or any proposal from T&K to do such works. This serious illegality happened right under the watch of the former Municipal Chief Executive, Alex Kyeremeh and the former Presiding Member, Mr. Adjei Mensah.

The committee therefore told T&K that since there has not been a properly signed contract between T&K and the assembly but just an indication of the assembly’s intention by way of MOU which even states it would regulate the dealings between T&K and the assembly pending the execution of a comprehensive project agreement, it is important therefore to execute a proper project agreement immediately to avoid future litigation.

Even before a proper documentation of the whole fracas could be solved, the Techiman Municipal Assembly wrote to the market women to fully pay their outstanding balance to Adonteng Samako Trading Enterprise at the Unibank, Techiman Branch and submit their pay-in-slip before 10th February 2016. This letter was dated 25th January 2016. When Classic FM took up the matter, the same Municipal Assembly did beat a rapid retreat and wrote another letter dated 10th February 2016 referring to the previous letter. The said new letter directed that all payments should stop with immediate effect. This action was taken because greater number of the people of Techiman did not understand why the people’s money should be paid into a private account. This shows how the whole deal sounds fishy. A typical example of create, loot and share for you.

Dear listeners, this issue is very serious because it boarders on people lives and their hard earned monies. We challenge the MCE and the Municipal Assembly members for that matter to set up a truly independent committee made up of chiefs who in the first place own the land, selected assembly members and responsible citizens of Techiman to investigate the matter and come out with solution that will assuage the suffering of these poor traders.

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