General News of Fri, 20 Apr 201810
‘Double salaries’ probe not a witch hunt – Majority Leader
The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has rejected suggestions from the Minority that the recent investigation launched into the alleged payment of double salaries to some officials of the Mahama administration is an act of political witch hunt.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID), over the past week, has lined up some members of the minority to assist with investigations into the matter.
In a Citi News Interview, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said there is no plan by the government to taint its political opponents, but that the gravity of the payment irregularities requires a proper probe to forestall future occurrences.
“I am part of the government. I don’t know of any government scheme to accuse members of the NDC [National Democratic Congress]. As far as I am concerned, and I keep insisting, it is something that should concern the entire nation,” he said.
In line with this, Parliament announced the formation of a two-member bi-partisan committee to investigate the matter.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the committee is expected to provide some clarity on the issue to put it to rest.
Some NDC MPs allegedly received double salaries while serving as both Members of Parliament and Ministers or Deputy Ministers.
25 of the MPs were initially asked to report to the police, but 18 of them were later asked to disregard that invitation.
But so far, about eight of them have been interrogated by the CID are being investigated for stealing.
The Minority in Parliament has since denied the allegations against its members.
At a recent press conference, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson said the accusation is intentionally unnecessarily “criminalizing and harassing” Minority MPs.
“Government must be an indecent hurry to divert attention from its failings by its pathetic attempt to push us into submission. No wonder government ended up with eggs on its face yesterday [Monday],” he added.
Per the dictates of public service, an official who occupies both positions is entitled to a single salary, usually equal to the level of a Minister of State.