Local Government Minister Nominee, Hajia Alima Mahama, has explained that the termination of the appointments of all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), after President Akufo-Addo’s inauguration, was not in contravention of the law.
Hajia Alima Mahama, also MP for Nalerigu-Gambaga, said this when she appeared before the Appointments Committee to be vetted on Monday.
Shortly after she was nominated, the former Deputy Local Government Minister, who also at one-time served as a Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs in the Kufuor administration, signed a letter that revoked the appointment of all MMDCEs.
Portions of the letter she wrote read, “By virtue of Article 243 (3)(b) of the constitution of the republic, H.E the president of the republic has revoked the appointment of all MMDCEs with immediate effect.
In this regard, all MMDCEs are directed to hand over their relevant duties to Coordinating Directors for further instruction.”
She was later criticized for signing off such a decision considering that her nomination had not yet been confirmed. Others also said the action was hasty, considering new MMDCEs were yet to be appointed to fill the positions.
Clarifying her action to the Appointments Committee, she said she was asked by the president to carry out that task in accordance with the constitution and the provisions in the transitional act.
“In the constitution, Article 58(1) says the executive authority of Ghana shall be vested in the president and shall be exercised in accordance with the provision of this constitution.
Then it goes to Article 58(3), which states that subject to the provisions of this constitution, the functions conferred on the president by clause 1of this article maybe exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him.
This is what the constitution says… And once again as you have alluded, the transitional provisions 14(1) say on the assumption of office, those persons specified in the schedule will cease to hold office and it goes further to say in 14(2) that the functions of office of a person who ceases to hold office under sub section 1 shall be performed by a person so appointed by the president for the period specified in writing by the president,” she stated.
She added that, “In the letter dated 9 January, the president wrote to me, Alima Mahama, directing that I be his representative to take charge of affairs of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Following on that, he directed that by virtue of the powers vested in him in article 243(3), he was revoking appointments of DCEs and, therefore, I should go ahead and send out that letter – which I did.”