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Regional News Wed, 14 Jan 2004

MP asked DCEs to stop playing politics with fund

Katapor (Ga South), Jan. 14, GNA - Mr. Ernest Armah, Member of Parliament for Ga South on Wednesday asked District Chief Executives to stop playing politics with the Members of Parliament (MPs) Common Fund. He said DCEs, who did that were only retarding the progress of their areas because projects that should be undertaken with the fund to improve the people's living conditions become unduly delayed.

Mr. Armah, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that the maximum period for the fund to be released after making a proposal was seven days.

He said, "but most of the times it takes well over six months to a whole year before the money was released."

Wondering why it should be so, Mr Armah expressed worry over what he described as the persistent unwillingness of his district assembly to release his portion of the common fund for projects he had endorsed in the constituency.

"It is quite difficult to explain why my district assembly (The Ga District Assembly) is doing that because a number of projects that were supposed to be carried out in my constituency and which I, in particular had promised the people had not seen day light as at now after winning the election in 2000.

Mr Armah defeated the incumbent District Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Attoh who stood on NPP ticket.

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He said with experience and his popularity in the constituency, nothing stopped him from suspecting that politics was being played with his part of the common fund, more especially because he was not a member of the current government.

"Probably because it is thought that when such projects and programmes are undertaken in my constituency it will increase my popularity and chances in winning the election but invariably, the delay in executing the programmes were affecting the progress of the people". Asked why he has not taken any legal action to have the fund released to him, Mr Armah said, "I did not have confidence and trust in the NPP legal system besides they would do everything possible to spin why such a thing was happening".

Mr. Samuel Dartey, Assemblyman for Deedei Electoral area at Katapor near Pokuase corroborated the MP's story saying, "It's true some of the projects are even more than one year old, besides, I have been issued with two cheques to cash for sanitation projects bounced to my humiliation."

He said the cheques, according to the bank were not properly issued and therefore, they could not be cashed.

"I am a worried man now on this problem because the people think I am not doing my best for the area as they are not seeing any physical thing promised them."

Asked what reason(s) the assembly gave for delaying the release of the fund for the projects, Mr. Dartey said initially he was not told the exact reason but the assembly had promised to release the funds.

Source: GNA
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