As Tension Mounts Again
By Alfred K Dogbey
A massive demonstration is looming at the State Transport Company (STC), against the Managing Director, Charles Thompson, with the angry workers threatening to lynch him, if he dares to set foot at the company’s premises again.
According to the enraged workers, Mr. Charles Thompson, who has been relieved of his position by the Government, yet he is still at post, claiming the Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT); the largest shareholder in STC, has asked him to still hang on.
Coincidentally, SSNIT is headed by his brother, Ernest Thompson, who himself is an appointee of Government.
The Herald is reliably informed that the embattled STC MD, has told some of his supporters at the management level that he has express directive from his brother to stay at post till further notice. This situation this paper has learnt, has kept the newly appointed MD, Samuel Nuamah Donkor, away from the STC Head office, opposite the famous Awudome Cemetery in Accra.
The refusal of the embattled MD to leave office, has led to some renewed tension among workers, who went on a three-day strike action on September 25 till 27 2013. They cited mismanagement of their provident fund, a 10-year delay in increasing salaries, questionable procurements, financial malfeasance, among others.
But ahead of the demonstration, The Herald has sighted a memo dated March 15, 2014, signed by Acting Head of Administration/Human Resource, Dorkey Issac, informing management that Mr. Thompson is going on one month annual leave starting today Monday 17 March and that he is expected to resume duty on Tuesday, 15 April.
The memo was copied to the Head of Finance and Administration, Head of Technical Service, Head of Operations, Head of Legal, Head of Audit, Chairman of Senior Staff and Chairman of Junior Staff, headlined; “Annual Leave – Acting Managing Director”.
It said “The Head of Finance and Administration (Mrs. Veronica Turckson) has been directed to perform the duties of the Acting Managing Director in his absence”. According to the memo, “The Acting Managing Director is expected to resume duty on Tuesday, April 15, 2014”.
“We entreat all to give Mrs. Veronica Turckson all the support she would need to perform her duties as the Managing Director for the period”, it demanded.
But the release and circulation of the memo, The Herald gathered has infuriated majority of the workers.
They could not understand why Mr. Thompson was still at post. They also could not fathom why Mrs. Veronica Turckson is now holding the fort for him. But for a directive that came from the seat of Government, last Friday, which calm down tempers a nasty spectacle could have happened that day.
Mrs. Turckson, described as a very arrogant woman is a representative of SSNIT, who was recently sent to STC, following the agitation by the workers.
It was reported that, Mrs. Turckson, openly opposed a ceremony which was organized to introduce the incoming MD, Nuamah Donkor to the workers and staff, much to the annoyance of the workers, who are expecting some news from Government.
Surprisingly, the same woman, has been made the Acting Managing Director of STC, whiles the fate of the President’s appointee still hangs in the balance.
Even before Mrs. Turckson could fully assume her position, workers are accusing her of blowing over ¢200 million of the company’s cash to purchase CCTV cameras only, despite the company’s financial crisis.
The money was said to be part of ¢600 million parking fee given to the STC by mobile telecommunication company, MTN as parking fee for using the STC Yard at Keneshie.
The CCTV cameras, were procured by Delta Unique Limited. It is unclear if Mrs. Turckson, followed procurement rules, as workers told The Herald that they were unaware of buying of the devices.
Again, Mrs. Turkson, one Emmanuel Quartey, Head of Audit, also from SSNIT, together with Elijah Nimfah, a Management Accountant, recently travelled to Cote D’ Ivoire at the expense of the company in search of money to refund the worker’s over ¢9 billion Provident Fund, but returned with nothing, yet grabbed huge traveling allowances.
Mrs. Turckson, went to Cote D’ Ivoire via aircraft, whilst the two, Mr. Nimfah and Mr. Quartey, went by road’ all at the expense of the crawling state transport company.
Meanwhile, Acting Head of Administration/Human Resource, Dorkey Issac and the Estate Manager, Raymond Dery were also said to have illegally recently went to some STC offices outside Accra and pocketed allowances far in excess of the days they spent on the trip. The Herald was told that there were places they never visited, yet collected money for being in those outstations.
They were said to have approved and collected allowances for three nights, instead of just a night. They claimed they had been to Cape Coast, Takoradi and Tarkwa. But some of the towns, The Herald was told, the three only got town from their vehicle to sign documents for the allowances.
Documents regarding the approval of the said illegal allowances, which has the signature of Mr. Dorkey, himself as Head of Administration/Human Resource are currently in the custody of The Herald.
This paper is also closely investigating dubious deals, involving a former Station Manager at Abidjan, Cote D’ Ivoire and current Head of Operations at STC, Victor Anane Frimpong, which has led to millions of CFA francs and a brand new Toyota Camry, belonging to the state transport company, missing.
More To Come!!