General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is expected to sue the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodi, Sampson Ahi for allegedly defaming her.
Mr. Ahi, a former deputy minister of Works and Housing and current Ranking Member of the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, alleged recently that the 2019 Budget estimates of allowances for the Sanitation Ministry were meant for the clothing and entertainment of Ms Dapaah.
He also raised concerns about the estimated GH¢89,000 that the Sanitation Ministry was due to spend as personal emoluments on the recruitment of security personnel.
But at a press conference held on Monday, December 16, 2018, she dismissed the claims, saying they were meant to discredit her.
“The allegations are misplaced, a set of wicked lies, malicious, defamatory and propaganda meant to attack my hard won reputation and integrity.”
According to her, “This has caused me and my family pain and embarrassment, as well as emotional distress.”
Setting records straight
Setting the records straight, the minister explained that “I, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, am not in any way and by any stretch of imagination benefitting or getting any budget allocation for clothes and entertainment as the MP for Bodi, Hon. Sampson Ahi alleges.”
According to her, “For his information, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has never stayed in a government bungalow since joined public service 40 years ago.”
She revealed that the expenditure items as listed in the budget of the ministry, were meant for public service officers within categories ‘A and B’ in the Public Service (Directors and above) and not for the minister.”
Ms Dapaah mentioned that benefits such as fuel, vehicles, housing, domestic house help, entertainment go to all directors and chief directors of all ministries, departments and agencies.
“I wish to draw the attention of Hon. 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 MDAs by the Ministry of Finance.”
According to her, “Furthermore, these allowances are perks and as such are not to be negotiated, but determined from time to time by the employer, which is the government.”
She also disclosed that the GH¢89,000 would be given to four environmental health workers of the Ministry.
Ms Dapaah, on Monday, December 16, 2018, gave Mr. Ahi 48 hours to render an unqualified apology for defaming her.
She also asked Ghanaweb and Herald Newspaper to apologize for publishing the defamatory statements of Mr. Ahi.
I won’t apologize
But Mr. Ahi has dared her to take him to court, saying he would not apologize.
The Herald Newspaper defiantly published Mr. Ahi’s reaction to the minister on Wednesday, December 18.
Sources told DAILY GUIDE that the Minister would take legal action against Mr. Ahi and the newspaper in the coming days.