Prominent Economist and academic Reverend Professor Saa Dittoh has stated that the decision to pay spouses of the President and Vice President is a manifestation of insanity of the highest level, noting that such payments are made because the wives warm the beds of their husbands – since there are no official duties assigned to the spouses for which Parliament has now approved salaries.
Prof Dittoh is among many Ghanaians who have condemned the move to pay spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents describing the act if allowed to hold as pre armed robbery.
“Paying wives from the national purse to warm husband’s beds is INSANITY of the highest level! IT IS ARMED ROBBERY,” he lashed out on social media.
Parliament recently approved salaries for payment to spouses of the President and his Vice as part of the approval of salaries and emoluments of some high ranking public servants known as Article 71 workers.
While many condemn the decision, many are also in support of the decision, arguing that these spouses perform official duties that inure to the benefit of the country.
Meanwhile, Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as ‘Abronye’ is challenging the decision to have the spouses of President and Vice Chairman paid.
He has since filed a suit at the Supreme Court over the matter joining Rockson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament for South Dayi and Clement Apaak who is also the MP for Builsa South Constituency have all sued the Attorney General to reverse the payment of emoluments for First and Second Ladies.
In the suit, the two MPs said the decision to pay the presidential spouses is inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and hence must not see the light of day.
“…per Article 71 (1) and (2), the positions of the first and second ladies of Ghana do not fall under the category of public officeholders.
“Per Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Emolument Committee is limited to recommending the salaries and other benefits and privileges of only public office holders”.
“….per Articles 108 and 178 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; parliament cannot, on its own accord, initiate or approve payment of any such emoluments; which would be necessarily be paid from public funds; without a bill to that effect emanating from and introduced by the Government and passed into law,” part of the suit from the two MPs reads.