|The members of the Cape Coast District of the National Pensioners Association (SSNIT) are accusing their National Executives of siphoning their funds.
According to the Association, which claimed to have a membership of over 4,000, the national leaders at the headquarters have violated the 2000 Constitution of the association with impunity.
Addressing a press conference in Cape Coast over the weekend, the District Chairman, Mr A.K Haizel, alleged: “They have removed all articles in the 2000 Constitution, which they have violated or watered down.”
He further explained that under Article 18 of their 2000 Constitution, their national leaders are obliged to set aside 25% of their monthly dues into a Welfare Fund.
He, however, alleged: “They have refused to comply with this requirement, and as a result, they decided to deduct GH¢4 each month from every member to fund the ‘Charity Fund’, which had been re-christened Pension Medical Scheme.”
He lamented that based on the Bediako Commission’s report on pensions in 2006, the Kufuor administration issued a White Paper and accepted to introduce a national policy for the aged, which included free medical care.
According to the Chairman, the national executives failed to pursue the above policy, but instructed the Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to commence deductions in February, 2014.
“In 2014, they exceeded the total amount they collected by GH¢323,517, and applied funds from the Pension Medical Scheme to balance their books,” he alleged.
He lamented that even though the country’s laws respect individual rights and liberties, their leaders are forcing them to participate in a medical scheme against their will.
Mr Haizel alleged that the compulsory implementation of the Pension Medical Scheme was a means by their leaders to siphon their funds.
He posited that in 2015, their monthly dues witnessed a 100% increment, from GH¢1 to GH¢2, which yielded a dividend of an extra GH¢517,005.
He explained that in spite of this, they incurred a net deficit of GH¢373,102, adding that “this amount was also absorbed with the Pension Medical Scheme funds.”
Mr Haizel further alleged that the national executives are trying to gag the members from exercising free speech with a clause that prohibits sharing of classified information, which could help them uncover how their funds were being spent.
“We are, by this press conference, asking them to resolve the following issues with us within one month from today, otherwise we shall have no option than to proceed to another forum to protect our interests,” he added.
Some of their colleagues from Takoradi, in the Western Region, solidarised with them and pledged their preparedness to partner them (Cape Coast District) to fight for their rights.
|Source: the chronicle|