Former Central Regional Minster under the current Akufo-Addo government, Kwamena Duncan and former Deputy Information Minister under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Felix Kwakye Ofosu have engaged in a head-to-head clash over the Controller and Accountant General's report on how Mr. Mahama used his appointees' 10 percent salary deductions.
Felix Kwakye Ofosu, who doubles as an aide to the former President, quoted the former Regional Minister as saying Ex-President John Mahama “secretly went to the Controller and Accountant General to take back the 10% salary cuts” he and his appointees voluntarily offered between 2014 and 2016.
But in a Facebook post, Mr. Kwakye Ofosu sought to expose what he says are lies by Kwamena Duncan.
He posted; "Ever since President Mahama broached the subject of the review of the emolument package of Article 71 office holders in line with demands and expectations of the Ghanaian public, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government and their mother party the NPP, have whipped themselves up into a frenzy and peddled one unintelligent lie after the other in a bid to douse what they believe will be plaudits accruing to Mr Mahama for his bold declarations on the vexed matter of Article 71.
" . . Kwamena Duncan’s lie is not new and is only a repetition of lies spawned from the Accountant-General’s statement before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in 2017, that he did not know how the money accruing from the 10% deductions were disbursed and whether they were used for the intended purposes of building CHPS compounds for some deprived communities as disclosed by Mr Mahama in 2014 when the deductions were announced. I had occasion in 2017 to dispel these falsehoods when they first surfaced and I would do so again now, in the wake of Duncan’s ignorant and misguided rants."
In his attempts to set the record straight, he explained that the "Accountant-General’s work in the matter started and ended with making the deductions from the salaries of all appointees and lodging same into a designated account controlled by the then Chief of Staff who was mandated to so do by the said appointees".
"In much the same way that the Accountant General is not expected to know how public workers spend their salaries after he paid it into their accounts, it cannot reasonably be expected that he would be seized with information on the disbursement of the funds raised from the salary deductions," he added.
In a quick riposte during Peace FM's "Kokrokoo" discussion programme Wednesday morning, Kwamena Duncan said Felix Kwakye Ofosu's defence is "funny" and ridiculed the latter asserting that "he (Kwakye Ofosu) just exposes himself. He doesn't know how the system operates".
Mr. Duncan straightened out how the system works insisting "monies which have been paid to government chest which must be lodged in the Consolidated Fund. On the constitution, [there is] two funds. The Consolidated Fund and then the Contingency Fund. Unless of course, by some other means, the Minister goes to Parliament to be permitted to create another one, but otherwise constitutionally these are the two funds. So, every money we collect goes into the government purse which is the Consolidated Fund".
He, therefore, found it outrageous that Felix Kwakye Ofosu would state that the monies were put into a designated account controlled by the former Chief of Staff.
"How was the money lodged with the Chief of Staff? How was the money paid?", he asked.
"This man's response is that it was the Chief of Staff that received the money. How that happened is very, very strange! Very strange!!", the former Minister exclaimed.
He further challenged Kwakye Ofosu saying, "he does not avert his mind to the fact that once we have paid 10 percent each, these are monies which go back to government chest and which must be kept in the Consolidated Fund. How they even came about with public works contract, because building a CHPS compound is a public work contract. You go through processes of procurement and the monies must be paid from government sources".