General News of Tuesday, 18 December 2018
Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources Cecilia Abena Dapaah has described allegations by minority Member of Parliament (MP) Sampson Ahi that she has allocated thousands of cedis to finance her clothing and entertainment at the ministry, as lies.
She argued that the former Deputy Minister for Works and Housing is only engaging in blind propaganda informed by ill intent meant to discredit her.
“I want to state the fact as it is. I Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the minister for sanitation and water resources, I’m not in any way and by any stretch of imagination benefiting or getting any budget allocation for clothes and entertainment as the MP for Bodi alleges,” she said.
She said that the claims have caused her family and the ministry pain.
Speaking at a press conference to address certain perceptions about the budget for the ministry for the year 2019 Monday, Madam Dapaah demanded that an apology is rendered by the MP within 48 hours or face a legal suit.
She said “I wish to state that the expenditure items as listed in the budget of the ministry are benefits provided to public service officers within categories A and B in the public service, directors and above and not for the honourable minister. These benefits are fuel, vehicle, housing/accommodation, utilities, domestic house-help, entertainment etc.”
“They are meant and they are given, and they are part of their service benefits. It’s paid to all directors and chief directors of all ministries, departments and agencies and is not peculiar to only the ministry of sanitation and water resources. Reference is made to the ministry of finance circular dated 4th January 2016 to all ministries departments and agencies enumerating this.”
“I wish to draw the attention of honourable Ahi to the fact that the allowances he was referring to were officially approved by the fair wages and salaries commission and communicated to all MDA’s by the ministry of finance,” she said.
The Minister said “Furthermore, these allowances are pegs and as such are not to be negotiated but determined from time to time by the employer, which is the government. Let me reiterate that these allowances are for civil servants and not for the honourable minister for sanitation and water resources Cecilia Abena Dapaah which happens to be my good self.”
Clearing the air on the recruitment of security personnel she said “honourable Ahi also commented on the estimated amount of 89,000 that the ministry will spend as personal emolument on the recruitment of security personnel. This amount was allocated to four environmental health and sanitation officers.”
Mrs Dapaah described the allegations as “untamed, a set of wicked lies, malicious defamatory and propaganda meant to attack her hard-won reputation and integrity.”
“This has caused me and my family pain and embarrassment as well as emotional distress. The allegation has also affected the image of the ministry, a ministry that working very hard to tackle decades-old challenges of sanitation and water in our dear and beloved country.”
“I, therefore, ask Honorable Ahi to apologise and withdraw within 48 hours, with the same publicity and alacrity that the defamatory remarks were published and that any media outlet including Herald newspaper and Ghanaweb must also take a cue and apologize within the same time frame else the necessary legal steps will be taken,” she warned.
She also advised that “honourable Ahi should read and educate himself accordingly.”