General News of Thursday, 23 January 2003

Source: GNA

@NRC: I was redeployed from P&T without benefits

Accra, Jan. 23, GNA - Mr. John Kweku Mensah, a former Telecommunications Inspector at the defunct Post and Telecommunication Corporation (P&T), Thursday told the National Reconciliation Commission that he was redeployed from P&T without any end-of-service benefits.

He said after working with the corporation for 24 years, between 1960 and 1984, he only saw his name in the People's Daily Graphic newspaper among two hundred other people as having been redeployed for various reasons. The reasons assigned for the redeployment included, corruption, inefficiency and thefts, among others.

"I used to work with the engineering department and I was never given a query for inefficiency, neither did I have the opportunity to do any of the things assigned as reasons for the redeployment," he told the Commission. In his statement, Mr. Mensah said he got employed in P&T, Takoradi in 1960 and was transferred to Tema in 1961, where he worked as Telecommunications Inspector till December 1, 1984 when he started his leave.

He said whilst on leave, he was told by friends on December 28, 1984 that his name was among several people who have been redeployed. Mr Mensah said when no reasons were given for the action taken against him, he wrote several petitions through the P &T Workers Union, the Trades Union Congress and to the Tema branch management to the headquarters but all to no avail.

He said, he then sent a petition to the then Ombudsman, Mr. Justice E. K. Andoh, Mr. Ebo Tawiah, formerly of the PNDC era, PNDC Secretary for Transport and Communication, Secretary-General of the TUC and P&T workers union, but nothing good came out of all that.

"I later got to know that the exercise was carried out nationwide but every individual was left on his or her own to seek redress," he said. Mr. Mensah said he received his Social Security benefits but was denied his end-of service-benefits though others on the list of deployed persons received theirs.

In a related development, Mr. Joseph Yaw Koblah, a former driver at the State Transport Corporation (STC) told the Commission he was denied his end-of service-benefits on his retirement due to an alleged theft.

In his statement he said he retired from STC in July 1988 at age 60, and in September he was invited to the Nima Police Station.

"When we got to the station the officer in-charge told me my name had been mentioned in connection with the diversion of several gallons of diesel oil between Accra and Tema in 1985-86."

"Though I denied the charge, I was made to sign three statements before I was pushed into the cells where I met some colleagues who said they were also there for the same reason."

Mr. Koblah said his wife then sent petitions to the IGP following which an order was given for them to be allowed bail only after the presentation of an indenture covering a landed property.

He said on January 24, 1989, he and his supposed accomplices were arranged before the Greater-Accra Regional Tribunal and charged with the offence and sentenced to six months imprisonment. "One Mr. Agbeshie requested that we be freed because there was no evidence to charge us, but some characters in the system disagreed.

"Two years after my release from prison STC served me with a letter of dismissal although I had retired from STC long before those accusations were framed against me," he said.

"Since then I have been denied my end of service benefit." Mr. Koblah, who is obviously old and weak, therefore, appealed to the Commission to investigate the matter and ensure that he was given what was due him.