Managing Director (MP) of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) and a former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Adenta Constituency, Dr. Kwadjo Opare-Hammond, has suddenly died.
The former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Director of Finance and Administration at it Asylum Down Headquarters, died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, after a short illness last Friday in Accra.
He was the first MP for the Adenta Constituency, after it was carved out of the Ashaiman Constituency in 2004.
President Akufo-Addo, has since visited the Adenta home of the deceased to mourn with the family and pledged his support for the funeral and burial rites.
The former lawmaker was appointed by the President as boss of PMMC in 2017.
But last year, Dr. Opare-Hammond’s administration was brought to question by workers of the Company who leveled several allegations against him. The aggrieved workers called for his immediate removal and the entire board of the Company.
According to the workers, the MD, with support from the board, breached the procurement processes of the company and used divide-and-rule tactics in the company, while spending money on unnecessarily.
Dr. Opare Hammond was accused of engaging in sacking of staff for no justifiable reason. There was also an allegation of him having an affair with one of the female workers.
The lady in question; Ms Roseline Bonaparte, was allegedly promoted ahead of her seniors, traveled with the late MD.
In October 2018 when the accusations were made, the workers threatened to deal with the Managing Director if he came to work.
A petition was presented to the chairman of the mother Union, Ghana Mineworkers Union to be forwarded to the management of the company.
The local PMSU secretary for the Ghana Mineworkers Union, Agnes Ayitey said “we have condoned irregularities for quite too long.
Mr Opare Hammond came to this institution with his own management staff which is not helping the company he is flouting the administrative processes; he handpicks, and he promotes, if you don’t gossip to him he doesn’t promote you, exorbitant board allowances, he has increased board allowances to 729% whiles he gives the staff 12% per year.
They have had 26 board meetings from January to yesterday. He is also flouting procurement processes…we want him out, we have petitioned our mother body.”
The workers also carried out their threat to embark on sit-down strike after a demonstration on the first day.
On the second day, few red bands were seen on some parts of the compound – some workers were also spotted wearing bands.
The story was however different on Friday [October 5, 2018] as the aggrieved workers with support from the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union engaged the MD and members of the PMMC Board to find solutions to their grievances.
KwadjoOpare Hammond, the accused MD of PMMC attributed the demonstration to a communication gap between management and the workers.
“Both parties are leaving this meeting very happy. We have together released a communique that is telling the whole world that most of the concerns raised by the workers had already been clarified at the board level, the ones that are yet to be clarified will be looked at in due course.
We all admit that these demonstrations came about because there were communication gaps so we are taking steps to ensure that those gaps are taken care of.
So with immediate effect, calm has been restored and we will go about our duties effectively from Monday devoid of any acrimony. There some apprehension that some workers were going to be sacked. I want to assure everyone that nothing of that sort will happen.”
The General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union Prince William Ankrah added that they would keep an eye on developments at the company to ensure that their members are treated fairly.
“We won’t back off. We will still be part of the process to make sure that things are going well. We are hopeful that management working in collaboration with the workers will create a conducive environment.”
The branch secretary of the local workers Union, Agnes Aryeetey who led the demonstration on the first day said they would return to work and trust their mother union to ensure that the right things are done.
“We trust that our authorities will do a good job. We know what we are talking about. We hope our leaders will investigate to come out with the true state of things at PMMC.
For now because we have signed the communiqué we would go back to work until everything is sorted out. But it doesn’t mean that we’ve thrown in the towel.”
He served as the NPP’s Director of Finance and Administration until the administration of the then national chairman, Paul Afoko and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, ousted him from office, as part of the internal wrangling of the party ahead of the 2016 general election.