Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Akwasi Oppong-Fosu says he is aware that some government appointees for the position of Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCE) often pay bribes to get endorsed by assemblymen.
He said also that he had information that some party members who had an interest in the position of the MMDCE in their localities, also paid bribes to the assemblymen to vote against the president’s nominee in order for them to stand the chance of being appointed to such positions.
MP for Nkwanta North, John Oti Bless, recently told Peace FM that the embattled DCE for Nkwanta North District in the Volta Region, Paul Levin Gyato, was re-nominated because he allegedly paid massive bribes for the post.
Mr Gyato, according to the MP, allegedly bribed National Democratic Congress (NDC) power brokers with fat cows and cash to get his way through, giving credence to widespread rumours that the nomination of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) had been riddled with corruption.
“Truth is bitter, but some of us cannot pretend because truth must be told,” the Nkwanta North MP, Oti Bless told Peace FM.
The MP denied being on the wanted list of police over the violent protest that rocked the area over the re-nomination of Paul Gyato.
Mr Oppong-Fosu said unfortunately, such illegal activities were usually done in the secret, leaving no chance for the authorities concerned to get concrete evidence to prosecute those behind such shameful acts.
“This is an open-secret,” the Minister for Local Government, retorted when Kofi Asante of Nhyira FM in Kumasi, asked him whether he was aware that some government appointees for the positions of MMDCEs paid bribes to be endorsed by assemblymen.
Mr Oppong-Fosu further said information he was privy to indicated that “winning and losing bonuses” were usually paid to the assemblymen during confirmation polls of people appointed by the president for the positions of MMDCEs.
He explained that the person selected for the position paid the bribe to assembly members in order to get endorsed whilst his opponents who were eyeing his position also paid bribes to the assemblymen to reject the appointee to increase their chances of being appointed for the top position.
The Local Government minister expressed gross worry over the situation, but noted that he could not take any stern action to stop the anomaly since it was usually done in secret.
“Grapevine information going round indicates that some assemblymen receive bribes during polls before they confirm the government appointees, but this is done in secret so how can you get evidence to prosecute the culprits.”
The minister said the worrying phenomenon started some few years ago, recounting that, in the past, government appointees for the positions of MMDCEs were not charged money by assemblymen before they were endorsed.
He observed that the competition of the MMDCEs had been very keen across the country, stressing that the development showed the desire people had to serve their nation, which was good for Ghana’s democracy.
Mr Oppong-Fosu disclosed that government would, this week, release fresh names for the positions of DCE at the various assemblies whose DCE positions had been vacant for some time now.
He explained that the vacancies emerged because some DCEs had been appointed to the position of deputy ministers, some have become MPs and others have served their four-year terms.
The Minister admitted that government was yet to pay Common Fund to the various assemblies due to lack of cash, but he was quick to admonish the assemblies to refrain from over dependence on the Common Fund.
The Minister charged the various assemblies to work hard by intensifying their internally generated funds since it was a suitable avenue for them to raise huge monies for developmental projects.