The Political Science Department of the University of Ghana has released findings of a survey it conducted on the performance of the country’s Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Presenting the findings at a press conference on Tuesday, senior lecturer at the University, Alexander Kaakyire Frempong noted that only 19.3% out of the over 27,000 respondents sampled said they knew the selection process for MMDCEs.
According to Mr Frempong, the data proves the level of apathy shown by a majority of constituents towards local government issues.
“Of the 60.5% of the entire respondents who said they knew [the processes for selecting MMDCEs], only 38% of them got it right. So, they were able to say they are nominated by the President and approved by the assembly. But if we take this percentage over the entire number of respondents, it will be only 19.3% of the respondents who actually knew correctly how MMDCEs are appointed,” he said.
Explaining further, Mr Frempong said about 30% of the respondents said the MMDCEs were appointed by only the President while another 30% said the staff of the assemblies chose their MMDCEs.
Others also said the MMDCEs were appointed by the chiefs of the community.
He further noted that their research revealed tension of varying degrees between Members of Parliament (MPs) and MMDCEs.
He said the tension if left unresolved could stifle sustainable local government.
“There are risks associated with the MMDCEs and MPs’ acrimonies for the delivery of public rules for the people. It is therefore not surprising that a large majority, 75%, of those who attested to the prevalence of tensions say it has affected the performance of their MMDCEs. To some extent about only 5.3% was insistent there was no such relationship, others were not sure. The important point is that if these conflicts remain unresolved it will potentially stifle sustainable development,” he cautioned.
The research conducted in 2017 and 2019 saw 27,500 respondents answering questions in relation to the appointment of MMDCEs, MMDCEs as influential actors, Members of Parliament, communities and developmental projects, performance of MMDCEs and 2020 Presidential elections among others.
The survey which was conducted in 275 Constituencies was on the theme: “Assessment of the Performance of MMDCEs from the Perspective of the Constituents.”
The survey also identified irregular interaction between the MMDCEs in their communities, describing the trend as a “worrying situation”.
Additionally, the acrimonies between MMDCEs and MPs for the delivery of public goods ought to be resolved to avert the stifling of sustainable local development, the report noted.
The survey also revealed that Party Constituency Chairpersons were seen as the most influential on the MMDCEs with Chiefs having a cordial relationship with MMDCEs.