A former Ghana Army Chief, Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah, says the Commissioner for the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) must be “punished in military style” for “wasting” hard-earned public funds to rent a plush apartment in Accra.
Although the retired Army Chief fell short of stating what kind of punishment the under-fire CHRAJ boss should face, his comments which is the first by a government official in the Mahama administration appeared to give momentum to ongoing public pressure on Lauretta Vivian Lamptey to resign from office.
Ms. Lamptey has publicly confirmed spending thousands of public funds to rent a plush private property at the AU Village in Accra at a time her cash-strapped Commission is struggling to effectively discharge its constitutional mandate.
[contextly_sidebar id=”gbVz1kLMqHShGcUmBdFzLJrmIJ9U0OdJ”]Leaked official documents indicated that she rented the AU Village apartment at a staggering cost of $4,500 per month over 33 months.
Insiders say while living in the AU Village apartment, Ms. Lamptey ordered that an extensive renovation exercise be carried out to modify her official residence; an allegation she has denied.
The renovation exercise, described by her predecessor and a former occupant of the house, Justice Emile Short, as an “embarrassment”, is believed to have so far cost the Ghanaian taxpayer over GHC 180,000.
Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah told Citi News on Thursday that the revelations are “depressing”.
“When you have serious problems with the economy; the cedi is in serious a problem, we must all know that you cannot build the cedi up without [personal] sacrifices,” he told Eyewitness News Anchor, Richard Dela Sky.
“In this country, our moral fabric has broken down” he said, adding that “when your people haven’t got money to build schools and you spend that kind of money, it means that your moral values have broken down.”
“It is quite depressing when these things happen…I think that people ought to be punished for that. That is the only way to put things right”.
He added, “I can never do a thing like this. There is no way I can spend money when people are sleeping rough in Accra…”
The retired Military chief is also asking for stiff punishment for all the public officials and private individuals who allegedly played key roles in reportedly misusing public funds in the name of Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil.
His comments come at a time Ghana is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a possible bail out after crippling economic and cash-flow problems have virtually wrecked the economy of the world’s second largest cocoa producer.
“The IMF will come back again because we have not learnt any lessons from the past,” Brig. Gen Nunoo-Mensah said. “I am not saying that we shouldn’t seek help when we need help but the point is that if you don’t discipline yourself as a nation, you are wasting your time…”
“We need to look at ourselves again. We don’t need to go and borrow money again because the waste is too much, all over the place… If you can mop-up the waste… we don’t need anybody’s money.”
By:Marian Efe Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana