A former mayor of Accra, Nat Nunoo Amarteifio, has said the practice where Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chiefs Executives (MMDCEs) are appointed instead of being elected makes them nothing but “errand boys” of the president.He said the debate on whether MMDCEs should be elected or appointed started in the ’90s when President Jerry John Rawlings introduced the local government system to decentralise governance.
However, the then Rawlings-led government settled on appointing MMDCEs, a move which was widely criticised as people quizzed why persons occupying such top positions within the local government system had no mandate from the people.
“Since then every Chief Executive has been basically an errand boy for the president and you can’t disguise it. So long as the Chief Executive does not do anything that runs contrary to established political interest, they would probably leave him alone; that is how ineffective he is,” Mr Amarteifio said on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday 27 April.
According to the former mayor, appointing MMDCEs makes them loyal to the president and the party instead of the office they occupy. He noted that to make MMDCEs more efficient, they should contest for elections.
“It is very obvious in Accra that anytime the Chief Executive tries to clear hawkers from the street, clear away spontaneous settlements which are proving to be a detriment, the whole political class comes down including the press. …So, if we want a Chief Executive who is functional, then let him earn the trust of his constituency. Let him run on the platform that ‘when I get to power I will do ABCDE’ and when he does it nobody can circumvent him by complaining to the president or writing diatribes about doing things with a human face to distract him or her,” he said.