General News of Friday, 19 October 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Soldiers’ Wives Threaten Nude Demo

Wives of retired soldiers would soon embark on a naked demonstration at the Burma Camp in Accra to protest against delays in the payment of their husbands’ pensions, according to information reaching Daily Guide.

As part of the comprehensive policy, retired service personnel on state pension and all workers on government payroll were directed to undertake biometric registration before their pensions and salaries could be paid.

Daily Guide learnt that the retired soldiers’ wives decided to go naked because even though their husbands had registered in the United Kingdom since April, this year, the pensions were not released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Sources close to the soldiers’ wives indicate that since their husbands were outside the country the pension constituted their only means of livelihood. The director of the Ghana Armed Forces Public Relations Directorate, Col. Mbawine Atintande urged the women to exercise restraint and allow the processes of paying their husbands to proceed.

He told Daily Guide in an interview that the biometric registration of the retired service personnel formed part of government’s comprehensive programme to capture all those on government payroll.

Col. Atintande further explained that government had directed Ghana’s Embassies abroad to register all retired service personal who enjoy government pensions. According to him, there was an initial problem regarding what type of machine to select for the exercise but this was later sorted out and the Ministry of Finance directed the Embassies to do the registration.

The Ministry of Defence, he indicated, facilitated the process of getting the Embassies to register the retied soldiers who are on government payroll, explaining that those who were dismissed from the service were not entitled to anything. Col. Atintande indicated that though he was not certain that all the Embassies had compiled their lists of retired service personnel, Ghana’s High Commission in UK had submitted their list to the Ministry of Finance for the necessary action to be taken.

He was hopeful the remaining embassies would take the necessary steps to address the problems.

It is left with the Ministry of Finance to do what it has to do for people to get their money. It is not about six months or eight months,” Col. Atintande pointed out.

He said time was not an issue and requested the wives of the retired soldiers to find out if their husbands had registered.

“When you register, so many things will have to happen before you get your pay”, Col. Atintande stated.