Associations, CHRAJ, Petition
Sunyani, August 27, 2023
The Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA), Sunyani for Development Association (SfDA) and Bonoman Institute (BI) have petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on the recent appointment of Principal for Berekum College of Education in the Bono region.
They are calling on CHRAJ to investigate what they worried about and see as “unfair treatment, corruption and a discrimination” meted against Dr. Mrs Vida Korang in the entire appointment processes.
Dr. Mrs Vida Korang is one of the applicants of the Principalship position and a Senior lecturer at the Catholic University of Ghana.
The groups, in a news conference in Sunyani on Sunday said the decision by the Governing Council of the College to appoint Mr. Sylvester Donkor, the new Principal is “a breached of provisions of (Articles 17 (1) (2) (3) and 296 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana”.
It was also an act of deliberate denying women rights and job opportunities, “affront to fairness and a heavy dent on Ghana’s quest to achieve Gender Equality (Goal 5) and Inequality (Goal 10) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
Ghana’s quest to attain the SDGs becomes a ‘lip-service and square perk in a round hole’ when women are being discriminated and denied their rights, opportunities and equal chances, the groups stated.
Copies of the petition available to this writer were jointly signed by Messrs Atta Akoto Senior, SYDA President and spokesperson for the groups, Nana Akomea Sakyi, Secretary for SYDA and Ansu Gyeabuor, Public Relations Officer for BI.
The petition said, the College Council through its Search Committee advertised vacant Principalship position for qualified applicants to apply.
“It’s on record that, at the end of the interview process, the Search Committee approved and presented two (2) out of the six applicants, namely; Dr. Mrs. Vida Korang and Mr. Sylvester Donkor for consideration”.
The petition said “Dr. Mrs. Vida Korang, the only female had the highest score of 71marks as compared to 70marks obtained by his closest contender, Mr. Sylvester Donkor, as cited by the College Council Chairman, Hon. Kwadwo Adjei Darko on Sunyani FM 88.1 and AdomTV/YouTube”.
According to the petition, the College’s governing Council Chairman, Mr. Adjei Darko indicated that Dr. Mrs Vida Korang was surprisingly denied the opportunity on the ground that “she was coming from a Private University and that it will be difficult to mechanize her onto the Controller and Accountant General payroll”.
Mr. Adjei Darko further justified that; “the council’s decision was based on subjective test and he placed no value on the 1mark difference between the contenders”, the petition added.
Pursuant to the Acts of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the unfair act meted out by Mr. Adjei Darko, to Dr. Mrs Vida Korang, an inspirational women of the region is discriminatory and affront to the Ghana’s public procurement law 2003 (Act 665) as amended at 2016 (Act 914), the petition noted.
“We see this view of the Chairman as an after taught, because nothing of difficulty of mechanizing somebody on the Controller and Accountant Generals payroll was used as a demarcation criteria in the recruitment process from advertisement, through shortlisting to the interview process”.
The 1992 Constitution of Ghana
The petition added to conform to the laws of Ghana, there are evidences where public sector organisations have recruited people from the private sector to occupy positions in public organizations and have successfully mechanized them onto the controller and accountant general pay roll.
It stressed the decision by the College Council Chair is contrary to Article 17 of the Constitution which provides that “(1) All persons shall be equal before the law, (2) A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status”.
(3) For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means “to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, gender, occupation, religion or creed, whereby persons of one description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another description which are not granted of persons of another description are not made subject or are granted privileges or advantages which are not granted to persons of another description”.
Again, Article 296 also provides that “Where in this Constitution or in any other law discretionary power is vested in any person or authority -(a) that discretionary power shall be deemed to imply a duty to be fair and candid; (b) the exercise of the discretionary power shall not be arbitrary, capricious or biased wither by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and shall be in accordance with due process of the law”, the petition indicated.
In accordance with the Law, “we consider this act by Mr. Adjei Darko as discriminatory, unfair treatment, selective and administrative injustice, inequitable, abuse of power, inconsistent and in contravention to the basic tenets of the laws of Ghana”.
“We are mindful of the fact that, Ghana and all over the world are encouraging women development to partake in key decision making positions in government, hence the introduction of the Affirmative action bill in parliament of Ghana”.
The petition further stated a point difference in interview situation such as the instant case is statistically significant, therefore referred the relevant institutions petitioned to analyze the significance of a point difference in a Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana, a difference in a quiz competition, a point difference in football competition among others.
The College Council Chairman, the Berekum College of Education, the Chief Justice, Republic of Ghana, The First Lady, Republic of Ghana, The Second Lady, Republic of Ghana, and the Minister of Gender and Social Protection were served copies of the petition.
Also included the Minister for Education, the President, Bono Regional House of Chiefs, the Chairperson, Actionaid Ghana and the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC).
Others served were the Acting President, Berekum Traditional Council, the Omanhemaa of Berekum Traditional Area, the Bono Regional Minister, the Berekum East M.C.E, Berekum West D.C.E, the Members of Parliament, Berekum East and West Constituencies and the Acting Principal, Berekum College of Education.
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org