Accountant General’s political neutrality questioned, Akufo-Addo looks on?

Ghana’s Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, appears to be acting in blatant disregard to a ruling by the Supreme Court as well as the Code of Conduct of staff of the Civil Service, who seek to participate political party elections.

This is after Mr Kwaning-Bosompem filed his nomination forms on Saturday, December 23, 2023, to contest the Akyem Swedru Constituency seat in the Eastern Region, on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Prior to that, Mr Kwaning-Bosompem, recently held a rally in Swedru, “leading more than 2,000 supporters of the party on a three-hour health walk through the principal streets of Swedru,” the state-run Daily Graphic reported.

The October 30 walk drew supporters who also drummed home his candidature.

As a result of these, there have been series of calls on Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem to resign from his position since the declaration of his intent to contest the January 27, 2024, parliamentary primary elections.

These calls, have owever, been ignored by the current Controller and Accountant General after he submitted his forms but continued to remain in office.

This against Section 109 of Administrative Instructions of the Ghana Civil Service Act which mandates anyone with such intentions to resign before picking his forms.

Position of the Civil Service

Section 12(1) (b), (c) and (e) of the Civil Service Code of Conduct
(issued on 1st November, 1999), read as follows:

“12. (1) The Constitution of Ghana confers rights on all citizens of Ghana, including Civil Servants to join any political party or association of their choice. However, by virtue of the traditional role of the Civil Service to serve the Government of the day
loyally, and to maintain the confidence of any future Administration, a Civil Servant may not:
a) Accept any office paid or unpaid, permanent or temporary, in any political party or organisation;
b) Declare himself openly as a registered member of a political party or association;
c) Indicate publicly his support for any party, candidate or policy
d) Make speeches or join in demonstrations in favour of any political person, party, or propaganda
e) Engage in activities which are likely to involve him in political controversy.

“(2) Notwithstanding, a Civil Servant is entitled to his views in political matters, and if so qualified, may vote at elections.”

What the Supreme Court said

To ephasise this position, the Head of Civil Service, Dr Evans Aggrey-Darko in the lead up to the recently held District Level Elections, issued a statement to remind persons in the Service seeking to participate in party politics, of the July 16, 2016 ruling by the apex court.

In the said ruling, the court held among others that “a member of the Civil Service/Local Government Service, does not have the right to remain a member of the Civil Service or Local Government Service after being sworn in as a member of a District Assembly.

“In view of the above, Civil Service staff who might have filed or intend to contest in the upcoming local/district elections, are advised to take note of the existing law and ruling of the Supreme Court in order not to put their career in the Service at risk,” the statement cautioned.

It is, therefore, worrying that the appointing authority particularly the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, look on while the Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, acts in clear violation of the law.

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