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Regional News of Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Source: Daniel Kaku, Contributor

Ellembelle DCE slammed for branding govt Coronavirus items with his pictures

Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ellembelle in the Western Region has been 'attacked' for branding Coronavirus items which were procured by the central government with his pictures.

These items are expected to be distributed to all Senior High Schools and Junior High Schools in the Ellembelle District as part of the government's efforts to stem the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in all schools in the country.

Some Ghanaians had spoken against some politicians especially DCEs and MPs who had branded COVID-19 items with their pictures to score political points.

But, in a statement issued by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Ellembelle Constituency and signed its Constituency Communications Officer, Kwesi Hanson has claimed that the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area who is also the Parliamentary candidate for NPP has branded state Coronavirus items with his pictures.

According to the NDC, the DCE act is to score political points.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the conduct of the District Chief Executive for Ellembele, Kwasi Bonzo in the disbursement of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE's) as provided by government has sparked legitimate concerns raised by well-meaning Ghanaians especially constituents in Ellembelle," the statement read.

"The state procured PPE's have been branded with the images of President Akufo-Addo and Kwasi Bonzoh embossed on them for distribution to schools in Ellembelle", the statement added.

The statement stated that the behaviour of the DCE (Kwasi Bonzoh) was unacceptable, unethical and politically dangerous for public office holder.

The statement added that this was not the first time the DCE was taking advantage to make political gains out of resources released by government to fight the virus.

"We think that this act by the DCE is unacceptable, unethical and politically dangerous for public office holder.

It has also come to our notice that, this is the second time the DCE has taken an advantage to make political gains out of resources released by Government to fight the virus", the statement emphasized.

"The public office holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act of 1998(Act 550 and Act 286) of the constitution of Ghana prohibits the conduct of the DCE", the statement explained.

"These legal instruments are the singular most important requirement within the constitution that hold public officers accountable and form part of the code of conduct for public officials.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Act 663 requires public servants involved in procurement to follow the codes of conduct for public officials as stipulated in section 85 of the 1992 constitution as well as the 1999 Civil Service Code of Conduct", the statement added.

"The conduct of the DCE is saddled with political manipulation of state resources to his political gains instead of acting in the public interest", the statement fired.

"The callous nature of the DCE, Kwasi Bonzoh is not only irrelevant but insensitive to the plight of the people of Ellembelle especially during Covid-19 period. It is an act of irresponsibility and immaturity from the DCE, Kwasi Bonzoh", the added.

The NDC party has therefore promised to petition the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) if the DCE doesn't change his behaviour of handling state resources.

When contacted, the District Chief Executive Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh admitted of branding some Coronavirus items of his pictures as a DCE but stated that those Veronica buckets were not from the central government and we're not given to the schools.

He placed on record that during the distribution of the Coronavirus items given by the government, some teachers saw some of his own Veronica buckets and those teachers requested for it to use it at their homes.

"Let me repeat it to as I have told the MP that none of the Coronavirus items from the government has been branded with my pictures and that of President Akufo-Addo but when the Teachers came to collect their items they saw some Veronica buckets branded with my pictures as a DCE and they requested for it to be used at their homes and I gave it to them so if the NDC have seen those Veronica buckets in circulation then it is not true I have branded COVID-19 Veronica buckets with my pictures. Tell them to stop this kind of politics and I want to tell Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah as MP should stop this kind of politics because I respect him as an MP so he should also respect me. At the right time I will respond well", he fumed.


Below is the full statement:

THE DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE(DCE) HON KWASI BONZOH'S RECKLESS CUSTOMIZATION OF PPE's TO THE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLS IN ELLEMBELLE

Ladies and Gentlemen, the conduct of the District Chief Executive for Ellembele, Kwasi Bonzo in the disbursement of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE's) as provided by government has sparked legitimate concerns raised by well-meaning Ghanaians especially constituents in Ellembelle.

The state procured PPE's have been branded with the images of President Akufo-Addo and Kwasi Bonzoh embossed on them for distribution to schools in Ellembelle.

We think that this act by the DCE is unacceptable, unethical and politically dangerous for public office holder.

It has also come to our notice that, this is the second time the DCE has taken an advantage to make political gains out of resources released by Government to fight the virus.

The public office holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act of 1998(Act 550 and Act 286) of the constitution of Ghana prohibits the conduct of the DCE.

These legal instruments are the singular most important requirement within the constitution that hold public officers accountable and form part of the code of conduct for public officials.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Act 663 requires public servants involved in procurement to follow the codes of conduct for public officials as stipulated in section 85 of the 1992 constitution as well as the 1999 Civil Service Code of Conduct.

However, it has become evident in the case of Ellembelle that the stringent adherence to procedures alone cannot create an ethical and acceptable process of doing things.

The conduct of the DCE is saddled with political manipulation of state resources to his political gains instead of acting in the public interest.

According to section 92(1), Any person who contravenes any provision of this Act commits an offence and where no penalty has been provided for the offence, the person is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 1000 penalty units.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we believe strongly that, the conduct of the DCE has betrayed the oath he sworn to serve in the interest of the public rather than his personal, parochial and selfish gains.

The callous nature of the DCE, Kwasi Bonzoh is not only irrelevant but insensitive to the plight of the people of Ellembelle especially during Covid-19 period. It is an act of irresponsibility and immaturity from the DCE, Kwasi Bonzoh.

We wish to make it clear henceforth that, we will disregard any attempt for Hon Bonzoh to make political gains from the distribution of relief items that are to be supplied to the schools to stop in the spread of deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

We intend to petition the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to take the matter up unless we see a change in the behaviour of the DCE, Kwasi Bonzo in handling of state resources.

Thank you.

Signed!

Kwesi Hanson

NDC Communication Officer, Ellembelle

Tel: 0243734496

24th June 2020

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