The revenue Collectors in the Suhum Municipality in the Eastern Region are angry at the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Madam Margret Darko, for allegedly taking their job and awarding it to her press aide, Samuel Baah, who is also known as ‘Gosh’, a teacher.
According to the aggressive revenue collectors, the MCE did not give them any notice, but has awarded the collection of property rate, operational fees and artisan fee to her press aide, and others numbering about eight who are all teachers at Suhum Presbyterian Senior High School.
The teachers who now double as the revenue collectors, the paper learnt are to be given 40 percent commission after the collection of the property rate, operational fees and artisan fees while the main revenue collectors; including some casual workers will take 20 percent of the revenue tolls aside an amount target rate given to them.
The new collection contractors have been tasked to work with the casual workers as well, who are now working in the evening after classes’ hours to collect the debts while the main revenue collectors have been task to collect only the market tolls under the instruction of the MCE.
These have generated confusion and clashes between the Revenue collectors and the teachers at every place they go to collect the property rate in the Municipality, including Nankese Zone, Akorabo Zone and the main Suhum Township.
A revenue collector source hinted The New Crusading GUIDE, that, “the Municipal Finance Officer is the one who give us the booklets to go rounds for the collections of the fees, and then we accounts to him. But we have been told that the MCE has given our job to award a different person on the basis that, we are stealing that’s why she has award it as a contract’’.
Five others who are familiar with the issues at the Assembly told this paper that “we went out last week to collect the property rate, and we were told that, a new team had gone round to paste notices. We are not aware of anything, it creating confusion all over because the MCE hasn’t officially communicated to us that a new team has been assigned to do that job’’.
The source continued that “Our duty now is to collect the market tolls, thereafter then we are ideal. Those doing our jobs now are teachers, they go on the operations at nights while it’s a day work which the property owners are complaining at the time they have been coming to their houses to collect the debts, posting the notice and issuing receipts to them’’.
“She has also assigned someone to be ticking the number of car tolls being collected at the lorry stations while there is someone already doing that job. The person went to the Municipal Financial Officer to collect his commission but was told to bring his receipts of the job done before would be paid’’ the source said.
“We have call the Municipal Finance Officer to inform him about the incident and he said, he travelled over the weekend and will return on Monday. So we should exercise patience for him to meet us and resolve the issue’’ the source underscored.
The source who expressed worry about the issue said last year, they organized a taskforce to embark on the collections of the property rate, but the MCE blasted them for not informing her before taking that move. She reportedly explained that the revenue collectors were doing that to sabotage the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
The aggressive revenue collectors said, the attitudes of the MCE, Margret Darko in many others ways since she came into office is been a threat to them.
They are, however, appealing to the government to intervene and resolve the looming fire before it gets out of hands.
Mrs Ivy, the Municipal Information Officer, when contacted confirmed the contract has been awarded to a private person.
“It was established that, the revenue that the collectors bring to the assembly don't tally with the receipts issued to them. So the MCE didn't to give it to a private person to handle, because the Internal Generating Fund was not coming as expected" she explained.
Meanwhile, all effort to reach the MCE proved futile.