Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo and the country’s Auditor General Daniel Domelevo are embroiled in a tussle over mandatory leave for the latter.
Earlier this week, President Akufo Addo ordered Daniel Domelevo to take his mandatory leave of 123 working days.
A statement from the presidency said the order is in compliance with provisions in the country’s labour laws.
It also indicated that the order follows the precedent set by the late former President John Evans Atta Mills who also ordered the then Auditor General to take his accumulated leave.
Although Mr Domelevo complied with the order, he has described it as unconstitutional and one in bad faith.
In a letter to the President, Mr Domelevo argued that since a leave is forfeited if not taken within a particular year, he cannot be forced to take accumulated leave.
He also questioned why several appointees who have also not taken their leave since 2017 have not been ordered to do so.
Domelevo fights back
The anti-corruption campaigner said to the president in a letter that the decision to ask him to proceed on leave is political since “(i) previous correspondence from the Chairman of the Audit Service Board together with the public pronouncement by Minister makes it clear that the Auditor-General’s work is embarrassing the government.
“(ii) The office must have been aware also that several appointees of the president, have not, since 2017 taken their annual leave to date. The direction, therefore, that I proceed on leave, gives the impression that the decision was not taken in good faith.”
But in a strongly worded statement Presidential Secretary Nana Asante Bediatuo said President Akufo Addo has powers to exercise disciplinary controls over people occupying such offices.
“The assertion that the decision for you to take your accumulated annual leave was not taken in good faith is also unfortunate and without any foundation.
The Office of the President did not know that as part of your duties is to keep a record of appointees of the President who have not taken their annual leave since 2017, such that you can make the false claim of selectivity” the statement said.
Presidency pushing back
The statement extended the leave period of the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo from 123 days to 167 after including his leave for the year 2020.
For many the tussle between the president and the auditor general is an attempt to prevent him from pushing further with his resistance to government officials deemed to be corrupt.
Mr. Domelevo has been vocal in criticizing government officials whose actions are deemed corrupt.
In waging that way he has clashed with several high profile government appointees, leading to legal tussles.
He had said recently that he doesn’t care being forced out of his job.
It is not clear if the auditor general would get the chance to return to his job once the mandatory leave period ends as Ghana prepares for a general election.
Reactions to the tussle
On social media, Ghanaians have been reacting to the ensuing tussle and the implications for the country’s governance system.