$4.4m Rattray Park Contract Is Normal -Kojo Bonsu

From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi

THE Mayor of Kumasi, Mr. Kojo Bonsu has defended that there is no financial wrong doing regarding the $4.4 million reportedly expended on the 1 recreational facility in Kumasi.

He described as frivolous and mischievous the allegations of financial impropriety against him by a section of the Assembly, who are asking for his arrest. Mr. Bonsu explained that, the fact that the Assembly’s estimated budgetary allocation for the Rattray Park project was exceeded does not warrant the corresponding hullabaloo.

He said the practice of exceeding budgetary allocations in executing projects is a normal practice in most public institutions, including the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), provided the necessary laid down procedure in expending such additional resources are followed.

The Mayor, therefore, explained that the Assembly’s exceeded expenditure in the execution of the project in variations in the prices of some equipment, which were mostly imported.

He said in spite of these, the Assembly followed the Procurement Act, Financial Administrations Act and all due process of law, in expending those resources and that all the excesses incurred    on the recreational facility would be audited by both the Internal Audit Unit of the KMA and the Auditor General, in line with the laws of the land.

In response to the allegation of diversion of funds for priority projects, Mr. Bonsu said it is without evidence since the Aboabo and Miklin Storm drains were progressing.  He said the construction of the 200-seater library facility at Amankwatia is on-going and has not been abandoned as claimed by his accusers.

The mayor also emphasized that there is no illegality in the release of funds to the contractor working on the Assembly Hall project at Kumasi Academy (KUMACA).

Mr. Bonsu indicated that the action by his accusers to draw the attention of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) was alien to parliamentary practice. He explained that, the PAC, per the Standing Order 165 of Parliament only scrutinizes audited accounts of various state institutions submitted to Parliament by the Auditor General and called on the residents of Kumasi to disregard the ugly noises being made by a few aggrieved members of the Assembly.

Mayor Bonsu said attempts by a group of Assembly men to distract his vision of bringing development to Kumasi by petitioning PAC, Police, BNI and EOCO would not sidetrack him.  He concluded that his resolve and commitment is to pursue the vision of the President.