Minority Press Statement on the Abuse of Power and Disregard for laid down procedures at the University of Education, Winneba

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,

As you are aware, since the beginning of 2017, the University of Education, Winneba has been in the news for various reasons. It started with court action which resulted in the suspension from office of some principal officers including the Vice Chancellor and the Director of Finance and the counter court decision which called for their re – instatement. We are also aware of the suspension of works on some development projects which otherwise could have brought relief to both staff and students.

Ladies and Gentlemen, recent developments at the university need some special mention and attention so that the Minister for Education can take the necessary steps to address them.

Firstly, the University Council and the Acting Vice Chancellor have arrogated extreme powers to themselves. They are engaged in the dismissal of faculty members and other staff members on the perception that they support the interdicted staff. The Council and Acting Vice Chancellor have also transferred over two hundred (200) staff from their various posts in Kumasi, Winneba or Mampong on flimsy excuses of regular staff transfers; paying a whooping sum of Four Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Gh₵400,000.00) to them as transfer grants. What is even disturbing is that some of them are nursing mothers and whose complains are threatened with dismissal. Meanwhile, the Acting Vice Chancellor who was appointed by the so called “illegal” Interim Council and should have left office with the interdicted principal officers had exhausted his term as a Pro – Vice Chancellor and no longer qualified to act as a Vice Chancellor.Secondly, the dismissal of Dr Bekoe of the Winneba campus and
his forceful ejection from his residence on the orders of the Acting Vice Chancellor is not only in a bad taste but an act not expected in an academic environment. It is on record that the Acting Vice Chancellor ordered that utility supplies to the residence of Dr Bekoe be cut off. What is even disgraceful is his order for the removal of doors and windows to the apartment when the estate staff realized that Dr Bekoe could not be ejected
easily.

Thirdly, under the labour laws of this country, anyone on interdiction or suspension from office and under investigation receives a percentage of his or her gross salary to sustain his or her family. It is ironical for the University Council and the Acting Vice Chancellor to have instructed that the salaries of these affected principal officers be stopped since January, 2018. It is in this direction that the Minority in Parliament sees the conduct of the Council and the Acting Vice chancellor as abuse of power and disregard for laid down procedures which is giving a very low image to the University.

Finally, the Minority will like to call on the Minister for Education to take the necessary steps to address the issues and restore sanity into the administration of the University so that faculty members and staff do not live in perpetual fear of intimidation in the discharge of their duties.
Thank you.
Signed
Hon. Peter Nortsu – Kotoe
020 8186748
(Ranking Member on Education).

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