The Ho branch of Technical University Teachers Union of Ghana (TUTAG), are angry and agitating against the council and management over issues of financial malfeasance, procurement breaches and unfairness in the promotion process, which according to them, if not dealt with, could grind academic activities to a halt.
In a press statement issued by the Ho TUTAG Chairman, Albert Laurent Sakabutu, the minister of education, must as a matter of urgency, constitute a committee to conduct a forensic audit into all the issues at the university
The statement which was signed by Mr Sakabutu, and witnessed by the members of the teachers union, alleged issues ranging from procurement breaches, unfairness in the appointment and promotion process and acts of financial malfeasance and misappropriation of funds.
According to the statement, inflation of contract sums has become a common phenomenon in the University, since the reconstitution of the Entity Tender Board in line with the Public Procurement Act 2016 (Act 914 as amended) on July 1, 2016. One example of the numerous scandals of overpriced contracts, is the AR Block (Now Afadjato Block) renovation
Mr. Sakabutu, lamented on how it has become a practice for the University to get some products delivered, before contracts are awarded for the selfish benefits of some known individuals
“Other acts of breach of public procurement law. It has become a usual practice in the University to get some goods and services delivered before contracts are awarded. This is intentionally done to take advantage of the procurement process for personal benefits. One example of such a deal is the procurement of classroom furniture where the furniture was procured long before the contract was awarded”. Mr. Sakabutu lamented
He also accused management of intimidation and in the case of promotions , the favorites of management gets promoted, whiles those critical of the various misconducts of management, are left with no promotions
“Promotion of staff has become a favor in the sight of Management and different criteria are used to assess promotion documents of staff. For example while ‘turn it in’ (a plagiarism checker) report is generated for staff who are critical of Management in order to use as a basis for denigrating and not promoting them, others are promoted without reference to ‘turn it in’ report. This is selective justice, administrative and procedural injustice and smacks of bad faith, which the principles and ethics of academia frown on”.
He also lamented on the high level of gross abuse of official vehicles and fuel coupons in the University, claiming a greater chunk of the University’s Internally Generated Funds (IGF) is spent on fuel coupons.
“The Interim Vice Chancellor, has turned one of the University pickup trucks into a farm truck. For fear of the car being identified as Ho Technical University car”, he lamented
The Chairman of the Technical Universities Teachers Union, also accused the then Dean of Students, the Interim Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ben Honyenuga , On his last day in office ,signed a power purchase contract for a unit under the University worth USD 2.344 Million, contrary to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2016 (Act 914 as amended).
They are, however, asking the minister of education, to as a matter of urgency address the issues raised in the press statement to avoid further problems.