Government has resolved a misunderstanding between two top public officials over a state bungalow on Thursday but says the Kufuor government must partly be blamed for it.
The Director of Human Resource at the Local Government Services, Charles Kotey and Dr Thomas Kofi Adu of the Geological Services Department were engaged in heated verbal exchanges over who had the right to the ‘official’ bungalow at Cantonments in Accra.
The belongings of one of the officials were thrown out in the ensuing exchanges.
But calm returned after an intervention by some residents.
Deputy Works and Housing Minister Dr. Moustapha Ahmed told Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh the rightful occupant of the Bungalow is Dr Thomas Kofi Adu of the Geological Services Department.
According to him, rightful occupant left for South Africa on a national assignment which created the erroneous impression that the bungalow was unoccupied.
He described as “wrong judgement” the occupation by Charles Kotey and blamed the unfortunate exchanges on the lack of a comprehensive database to monitor which bungalows have been allocated.
Dr Ahmed also attributed the haggle to an extreme shortage of official government bungalows most of which he said were sold by the New Patriotic Party.
“There is a severe shortage of bungalows. I suspect that this is due to the fact that a large number of government bungalows were sold in the past, especially during the last regime and we have not had the opportunity to replace them with the requisite number of bungalows.”
He added that there is also an increase in the number of workers deserving of such bungalows which has created pressure on the bungalows.
He said government is taking initiatives to build more bungalows to arrest the situation.
Dr. Ahmed’s response did not however go down well with the former Works and Housing Minister under the Kufuor regime.
Hackman Owusu Agyemang said the embarrassing exchanges by the two public officials is only a testament of the ineptitude and indiscipline that have characterized the Mills administration and nothing to do with alleged sold bungalows.
He said under no circumstance should one bungalow be allocated to two people adding, “it is all symptomatic of the indiscipline and lack of respect in this present administration. And that is what is happening. There is absolute chaos and no respect for rules and regulations in this country,” he said.
He dismissed allegations that the Kufuor regime sold bungalows, explaining that some of the bungalows were deliberately razed down and in its place were flats put up for public officials.
He said even with the practice of selling state lands to private individuals – a policy he said was introduced by the NDC and continued by the NPP – the rationale is that the money accrued from the sale will be used to build flats for more civil servants.
He cited a seven-storey structure close to the Ridge Roundabout in Accra built under his tenure as minister from funds he said were raised as a result of lands sold.
“That is optimum utilization of available land and space. I don’t really see why the blame game should continue. After three years if we have made a mistake they should fix it,” he added.
Play the attached audio for excerpts of the interviews
Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana