KMA Presiding Member banned from activities of Local Govt Ministry

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, has, with immediate effect, banned the Presiding Member of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Nana Kofi Senya, from attending any official activity organised by the ministry.

This followed alleged acts of insubordination and insulting behaviour the presiding member exhibited in public towards the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kojo Bonsu, in the full glare of the minister in Kumasi Friday.

Nana Senya is said to have refused to sign an official document relating to the release of the assembly’s share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) for development projects in the metropolis when the MCE presented the documents to him for signing on the premises of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council.

In the process, Mr Oppong-Fosu said, he witnessed the presiding member pour out insulting words at the MCE.

But Mr Senya has expressed surprise at the minister’s position, especially when he (Mr Senya) had later apologised unreservedly to the minister on realising that the minister had witnessed the ‘altercation’ between him (Mr Senya) and the MCE.

The presiding member, who later spoke to the Daily Graphic, said, ‘Time will tell whether the minister’s ban is clothed with the law or not.’

Mr Oppong-Fosu, who was in Kumasi to open a day’s workshop on audit report interpretation for presiding members of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the Ashanti Region, took a serious view of Nana Senya’s behaviour and consequently issued the ban order while opening the workshop.

‘I see the behaviour of the KMA Presiding Member as an attempt to undermine the authority of the KMA Chief Executive and the assembly over which he presides and this cannot be tolerated,’ he charged, while Nana Senya, who was at the workshop, listened in apparent shock from his seat.

The minister made it clear that he would not tolerate such blatant show of disrespect to authority, adding that but for ‘some considerations’, he would have sacked Nana Senya from the workshop.

He also took issue with some presiding members who were working against the confirmation of chief executives nominated by the President.

‘I am aware of the payment of winning and losing bonuses to assembly members in the ongoing confirmation of MMDCEs. This situation is dangerous to the promotion of decentralisation and if we continue along this line, we will be promoting corruption in the assemblies,’ he said.

Mr Oppong-Fosu asked assembly members to be committed to their duties to facilitate the development of their communities.

When the Daily Graphic spoke to Mr Bonsu, he expressed shock at the behaviour of the presiding member, as the money they were looking for was not going into his (MCE) pocket but was meant for the development of the metropolis.

However, Nana Senya said he was justified in refusing to sign the document.

According to him, the document related to the common fund budget of the assembly which, by law, only he could sign when it had gone through the committee level, been debated and approved by the general assembly.

‘All these were not done and so when the MCE gave it to me to be signed, I refused,’ he explained.

Nana Senya alleged that when he refused to sign it, Mr Bonsu stated that he would give it to another assembly member to sign.

‘That brought about the exchanges between us. When that was going on, I never knew the minister was around and so when he raised it in his address, I decided to apologise to him during the coffee break. Therefore, I am surprised of his decision to ban me.

‘But as to whether the ban is legal or illegal, I will not comment on it now; we must all wait to see what will happen,’ Nana Senya said.

By Kwame Asare Boadu / Daily Graphic / Ghana

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