General News of 2014-07-12

Oye Lithur has no right to frustrate her deputies – MP

Member of Parliament (MP) for the Efutu Constituency, Alex Afenyo-Markin has accused the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur for breaching the Constitution of Ghana.

Media reports indicate that there is tension at the Ministry of Gender because the substantive Minister, Oye Lithur, has denied her two deputies access to the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) package for their constituencies.

Government introduced LEAP, a cash transfer programme as a social intervention for the poorest households in Ghana.

The programme is aimed at empowering the extremely poor, disabled and disadvantaged in society.

But there have been allegations that Mrs Lithur has cancelled the list of beneficiaries from the Ledzokoku and Gomoa Central constituencies where Benita Sena Okittey Duah and Florence Opoku- Apoh serve as Members of Parliament (MP) respectively.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Afenyo-Markin described the act as a breach of the Constitution.

He criticized her for side-lining her deputies saying “if people are appointed as deputy Ministers, they do not act as servants to Ministers…constitutionally, they are supposed to assist the minister in his or her duty of governance.”

According to him, “no minister has the power to malign or frustrate his or her deputies even if they are not comfortable with them”.

“This is not someone’s private office where you can say that I don’t like my assistant, my deputy so I wouldn’t work with her,” Mr. Afenyo-Markin added.

Quoting Article 79 of the 1992 Constitution, the Efutu Constituency law maker established that the Minister was also in contempt of Parliament since her appointment as a Minister was not in conformity with the constitution.

“Ministers are appointed by the provisions of the constitution. Article 79 of the constitution makes it clear the qualifications required from a Minister nominee,” he clarified.

In that regard, he noted that “Parliament has to approve the nominations and confirm any individual before he or she is appointed into office as Minister”