A group calling itself “Concerned Youth of Abura Asebu Kwamankese (AAK) District,” in the Central Region, has appealed to the president to remove Mr William Atta Mends, district chief executive, from office for the alleged mismanagement of the district Assembly’s common Fund and other interventions.
The group urged the president to appoint someone who has the interest of the district at heart, and is also competent to lead them to realize the dreams and aspirations of their forefathers.
The group which made the appeal in a statement read by Mr Pius Abaka, its spokesperson, at a press conference held at Abura Dunkwa on Tuesday, alleged that the 2012 internal audit report of the AAK District Assembly revealed that within the first two quarters of 2012, a total of GHȻ 125, 213.30 was mismanaged by the DCE and his accomplices.
It noted that “If within a period of two quarters such an amount has been mismanaged, then one can imagine how much has gone down the drain over the period before the 2012 audit and thereafter.”
It further accused the DCE of transferring about 11 senior staff and heads of department such as the Public Works Department (PWD), National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), as well as the District Superintendent of Police, in order to conceal his foul deals.
It also said that the only bridge on the only entry point of the main road from Cape Coast – Fosu Highway to Abura Dunkwa had become a death trap, endangering lives, but that the DCE had prevented the concerned youth and any other person from repairing it, with the promise of repairing the bridge himself.
“About six months after the promise, the bridge remained the same,” the group stated
The statement accused the DCE of constructing a road leading to his farm without paying attention to roads, schools, clinics, toilets and other facilities needed by the people in the district capital, and that the DCE has been wasting the district’s resources to suit his own personal interests.
“Many development projects have been neglected, poverty is engulfing our people and developmental projects are at a standstill all due to the corrupt, incompetent acts of the DCE.”
It also called on the chiefs, opinion leaders and the youth to rise up against corruption in AAK as cited by the 2012 audit report.
When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) contacted Mr. Mends for a rebuttal, he described the allegations leveled against him as untrue, saying that the 2012 audit report cited by the group was only one of the preliminary reports done as part of any standard audit.
Though he could not readily provide a true copy of the auditor’s report, Mr Mends was certain that the final and approved copy of the report, available at the Auditor General’s office, was enough evidence to prove his innocence.
He noted that the highest revenue raised by the Assembly during his four-year term of office, was far less than the amount quoted, and therefore challenged the concerned youth to go in for the final auditor’s report to confirm.
Mr. Mends, on the delayed reconstruction of the bridge, said it was due to lack of funds even though the contract had already been awarded to a contractor and work had already commenced.
On the transfer of the 11 senior staff and heads of department, he denied influencing the decisions, and that two out of the 11 e were due for retirement, while others were transferred by their various regional heads without his knowledge.
“I never ordered the transfer of any senior staff since I do not have the power to do so,” he said.
On the construction of a road to his farm, he stated that, the road was re-touched for the benefit of some traditional leaders who often used that route since it was the shortest and easiest to their traditional areas.
He said the road was retouched because the alternative route used by the traditional leaders to their prospective areas required a sacrifice of a sheep when used since it was a ‘forbidden’ route to be used by any traditional leader, which apparently had his farm located within the area.
He added that, he was aware of the inadequate facilities in the District and was putting in place measures to promote development in the area.
Mr Mends said he was determined to work for the people since that was the main reason why he was voted into office, and stressed that he will need support from the people, especially the youth, to ensure that all the development plans are achieved for the benefit of the District.
“These political gimmicks must come to an end as soon as possible for the betterment of the District and the Nation as a whole,” he stated.
It would be recalled that in 2010, the same group protested against the then DCE, Madam Ama Adusah for non-performance until the late President Mills, replaced her with the current DCE, who now stands accused.