Award-winning investigative journalist, Manassesh Azure Awuni has urged President Akufo-Addo to address the plight of Zoomlion sweepers in the country.
According to him, employees of Zoomlion Ghana Limited are currently being shortchanged in their earnings, hence the President must intervene.
The ace journalist made this call in response to a post on the President’s Facebook page, which notified Ghanaians of his intention to deliver a Christmas message on Tuesday, December 24, 2021.
Reacting to the notification from the President, Manasseh Azure intimated that as of now, the sweepers earn only GHC180.00 out of the GHC600.00 paid to Zoomlion Ghana as their salaries.
According to him, Zoomlion retains GHS420.00 cedis from the GHS600.00 cedis; a situation the journalist says poses a lot of difficulties for the sweepers.
“The arrangement is that Zoomlion will take 420 cedis and give the poor sweepers, in whose name the youth employment programme was created, only GHC180 cedis. Zoomlion claims there are 45,000 sweepers on the payroll. This means that each month, 18.9 million Ghana Cedis goes to Zoomlion while each worker goes home with 180 cedis ($30). Sir, put yourself in the shoes of the mothers and fathers who do this work”, Mr. Awuni said.
He therefore urged President Akufo-Addo to deal decisively with the matter, by paying the salaries of the sweepers directly to them through the District Assemblies, within whose jurisdictions they clean; instead of using Zoomlion as intermediaries.
“They [Zoomlion sweepers] have no health insurance or pension or any other benefit. You and your party criticized this wickedness when you were in opposition. In government, you’re continuing it. The truest test of your character is how you treat the vulnerable. I’m appealing to you to end this heartless arrangement so that sweepers can be paid directly. Don’t harden your heart, please”, Manassesh Azure pleaded.
Meanwhile in his Christmas message to Ghanaians on the eve of Christmas, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to exercise moderation in their celebration to avert any calamities, especially on the road.
“Let us all celebrate the season safely and responsibly, and maintain the peace of the nation. It is my fervent hope that this Christmas will be celebrated without any road accidents”, Akufo-Addo urged.
The President also urged all Ghanaians to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 safety precuations during the festive season and do well to get vaccinated against the pandemic.
“The science tells us that getting vaccinated is the most effective way to defeat the virus and go back to our normal way of life, re-open fully our economy, and return our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity.”
The President concluded his Christmas Eve message with “Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year”.
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