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General News Thu, 28 Feb 2002

Move to oust Kumasi mayor - the inside story

The fate of Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Chief Executive, will be decided at 2.00 pm on Monday, next week, at the Prempeh Assembly Hall, as the assembly will be holding a general meeting to pass a vote of no confidence on the KMA boss.

The meeting has become necessary as one-third of the 86-member assembly this week fired a petition to the Presiding Member (PM) for a no confidence meeting to be convened since, according to them, they have lost confidence in the man with whom the destiny of the Kumasi metropolis has been entrusted. In line with the rules governing the district assemblies, Nana Nsiah-Awuah, the presiding member, has no option but to accede to the demand of the grumbling petitioners and call for the meeting.

He straight away fired a circular: “Pursuant to part 2, article 4 (b) and part 4 article 17, section 1,2 and 3 of the model standing orders, members are hereby invited to attend a general meeting requested by one-third (1/3) of members of the assembly as per the list attached,” the KMA PM wrote in his invitation to the members for the meeting. The invitation letter for the meeting, which was copied to the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, has a Vote of No Confidence in the Metropolitan Chief Executive as its main agenda.

When the Chronicle contacted Jumah, he confirmed the upcoming crucial meeting, but downplayed it, saying the meeting would fizzle out because this was not the first time that they have called for his removal. “This is the fourth time that such an incident is happening, but all the previous ones fizzled out,” he told Chronicle. He further said KMA was not broke as some people want the world to believe.

“We are not broke as some people are saying. I can assure you that we have about ?900 million in our reserves, so how can people say we have no money or our accounts are in red,” he stated. On why some of the cheques issued out by KMA for the payment of oil they purchased were dishonoured, he explained that KMA operates several accounts but the officer who wrote the cheques did not do any due diligence to find out whether there were enough funds on the particular account he was issuing out the cheques for the payment.

“In fact when it was reported to us that our cheques had bounced we quickly rectified it to avoid any trouble. It was not that we did not have money in our account,” he told Chronicle. The KMA boss, also popularly called Kofi Ghana, did not draw the lines between the emergency meetings held previously and the impending one, with no confidence vote as it agenda.

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The action of the Assembly Members, Chronicle learnt, is the fallout from what they called the careless attitude and entrenched position adopted by the KMA boss in addressing a number of thorny issues affecting the assembly since he took over a year ago. The straw, which seemed to have broken the camel’s back was the attempt by the KMA boss to assault Nana Kusi Obodum, an Assembly member for Bantama, last week.

Before this final “blow” by the 30 Assembly members to get Jumah removed, Chronicle can report that there had been more behind the scene meetings between a section of the Assembly members and top government officials, including the President, over the management and direction of the KMA by the chief executive.

Chronicle sources at the said meetings indicated that the Assembly members made their supplications known and requested that the KMA boss was called to order. After such meetings, the authority did not sleep over the issues raised by the members. At a certain stage, the KMS boss was summoned to Accra where he was taken through some good lessons, Chronicle has learnt.

Instead of amending his ways Jumah, it was learnt, rather adopted vindictive attitude towards some of the members he later learnt had made complaints to higher authorities. Before his commotion with the Bantama Assembly man, there was a similar attack on Mr George Foli Drah of Subin and the Santase Assembly man, whom he accused of being part of clique that had complained about his “ways and means” to higher authorities.

In a related development, residents of the metropolis have condemned the move by the group to oust Jumah. Caller upon caller on radio programmes particularly on LUV FM described the protesting assembly members’ agitation as anti-development and suggested dialogue for ironing out their differences with the KMA boss.

Source: Chronicle
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