Minister-designate of Local Government and Rural Development Hajia Alima Mahama has justified firing Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), saying she acted on the directions of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Hajia Mahama, shortly after being nominated as Minister for Local Government and Rural Development signed a letter firing all MMDCEs. The letter revoking the appointments of the 216 MMDCEs said: “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.” Critics questioned the locus of Hajia Mahama to fire MMDCEs when she had not been made substantive Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Explaining to the Appointments Committee of parliament when she appeared before it on Monday January 23 to be vetted, she said she was directed by the president to do so 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. “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.”
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