Kasanbata faces tough time at vetting

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Just as the topic was brought to the fore, beads of sweat formed on his forehead and it was clear that the issue was something Mr Kasangbata was not comfortable talking about.

Even long after the issue had been dealt with, the nominee could not get over his uneasiness and continued sweating, a situation which led a member of the committee, Mr Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa to ask him to “take it easy.”

Just when Mr Barton-Odro begun addressing the subject, a member of the committee, Mr Mahama Ayariga, sought to draw his attention to the failure of the petitioners to provide any evidence to back their claim.

He said the committee would be setting a dangerous precedent if it brought the issues contained in the allegations to the fore when no evidence had been provided.

But he was overruled by the chairman who stated that although no evidence had been provided, it would serve the public interest if the nominee was confronted with the issues.

Mr Kasangbata, whose appointment led to violence in the Upper West Region, including the destruction of billboards bearing the pictures of the President John Mahama, said he purchased the vehicle in the name of the district assembly and not for his personal use.

He also said he had only one house which he begun building long before he became DCE.

He challenged the people making the allegations to provide evidence to show that he indeed engaged in those acts.

The nominee touted what he termed were his achievements as DCE which he said included a rise in internally generated funds and an increase in the number of beneficiary schools under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) from two to 79.

Asked if he did not consider his young age a disadvantage, he replied in the negative, saying how old one was could not be used to determine how wise he or she was.

He promised to reach out to people who opposed his nomination if given the nod and assist the regional minister in all his endeavours.

Mr Kasangbata also promised to work with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to ensure an improvement in cotton production in the region in a bid to reduce poverty.

The deputy ministerial nominee for the Upper East Region, Mr Daniel Awenyue Syme, who was the first to appear, told the committee that poverty was endemic in the region due to ignorance and lack of education on the part of the people in the region.

He said he would partner the regional minister to formulate programmes and policies that would alleviate poverty in the region.

Mr Syme, a Deputy Auditor-General and a former District Chief Executive, noted that the immediate past regional minister, Mr Mark Woyongo, had largely succeeded in maintaining peace in the region and said he intended to study the methods used by Mr Woyongo and improve upon them if possible.

The nominee, who described himself as an indigene of the region and one who was “well-grounded,” said he had no problem taking instructions from a minister whom he was 13 years older than and said the era of differences in age affecting work was long gone.

Turning the spotlight on some of his achievements as DCE, he said he embarked on a sensitisation programme to encourage the people within the Builsa District to send their female children to school and added that school enrolment for girls improved three-fold as a result.

In some schools, he said the situation improved so much so that the number of girls in schools outnumbered boys by a ration of three to one.

Asked what recommendations he would make to improve operations at the Auditor-General’s Office, Mr Syme, who distinguished himself  very well during the vetting, said there was the need to intensify measures to influence “performance measuring methods.”

He also called for performance management agreements.

The deputy ministerial nominee for the Volta Region, Mr Francis Ganyaglo, who had a relatively “easy ride” when he appeared before the committee, said he would assist the regional minister to implement the recommendations of the committee established last year to investigate the disturbances that occurred at Hohoe.

Mr Ganyaglo, who had praises showered on him by some members of the committee for his service to the ruling party and who was asked “easy” questions such as “ How is Kpando Heart of Lions doing” said he would assist to bridge the differences between the various ethnic groups in the region to help deal with factionalism.

“This is the only way we can achieve development,” he said.

He said there were more than 30 different dialects spoken in the region and said he would co-operate with all irrespective of which dialect they spoke.

Story by Mark-Anthony Vinorkor