The Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah, has observed that challenges and hindrances to the development of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are as a result of misconceptions speculated by the citizenry.
According to him, “the lingering conception is some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives use the common fund from government meant for developmental projects in the districts for their private use.”
“The challenge starts with misconception by the citizenry who refuse to do what they ought to do because they think the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives spend money which is meant for the district,” he said.
Mr Braimah was speaking to selected MMDCEs on the theme: ‘Promoting Citizenry Engagement and Participation in Local Governance in Ghana’ in Accra.
“When the citizenry refuse to do what is required of them, the Assemblies can only do little in developing the metropolitan, municipal or district because capacity limitation by the assemblies to engage the citizenry in diverse ways can help to develop the communities”.
“Through the work of the foundation, the transpiring issues with all the districts is the apathy of the citizenry, the challenge of misconception by them and the notion money is abused by the Chief Executives and staff of the assemblies make it difficult for them to get the citizenry to do what they are required.”
“When that happens it is extremely difficult for MMDCEs to get the citizenry to do what is required of them, the spirit of communal labour is lost in local governance because of misconception of monies misused by some Chief Executives.”
“Not too long, sanitation challenges and other issues in communities are addressed without waiting on the MMDCEs to fix them but unfortunately, all those commitments are lost because of the misconception of wastage by the assemblies,” Mr Braimah noted.
Dr Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) asked MMDCEs to be transparent and accountable to earn the trust of the citizenry and attributed the mistrust to unavailability of information.
He urged them to make information readily available to the citizenry to enable them contribute effectively to the development of their communities saying “take advantage of the town hall meetings to tell them how much the area has been receiving from its share of the common fund and outline the projects to be initiated, those initiated, how much invested and uncompleted ones to regain their trust and deepen local governance.”
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU AND DAVID TAKYI