21 February 2013

Ghana: Race for KMA Seat Gets Hot

Kumasi — THREE NAMES have popped up and currently doing the rounds as the possible names shortlisted for consideration for the post of the mayor of Kumasi, following the elevation of the former Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr. Samuel Sarpong, to the position of the Ashanti Regional Ministry.

The three potential aspirants are Hon. Raymond Tandoh, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NDC and government appointee to the KMA and also a former Assembly member for the Kaase Electoral Area; Nana Butler, member of NDC's Regional Communication team and Mr. Peter Anarfi Mensah, currently headmaster of Tepa Senior High School.

Mr. Tandoh is a Chartered Accountant by profession and has served the party diligently as the deputy secretary. He currently plays the role of Chairman of the Finance Committee at the KMA.

Nana Butler, a former Assemblyman for Kaase was the NDC Parliamentary candidate for Asokwa in 2004 general elections.

Of the three, Mr. Anarfi Mensah, a native of Tepa in the Ahafo Ano North district of Ashanti and resident of Kumasi since 1992, happens to be the front runner considering experience, qualification and party loyalty.

Anarfi Mensah, 57, was the PNDC District Secretary for the Ahafo Ano South district from 1988 to 1992 and also briefly served as the District Chief Executive of the Ahafo Ano North district from 2000 to 2001.

A product of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, where he obtained his first and second degrees as well his Masters' degree in Rural development, Anarfi Mensah in 2011 also obtained an Executive Certificate in Strategic Management in Administration from the Graduate School of Governance and Leadership.

By dint of this qualification, he was promoted to the position of Chief Director by the Head of Civil Servants and Public Services Commission and posted to the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) as Regional Director.

This appointment hit the rocks because the then Ashanti Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu would not have anything to do with the newly promoted Chief Director (Anarfi), citing inexperience to stall the appointment.

A die hard member of the NDC, Anarfi Mensah is one of the few PNDC operatives who has maintained links with the NDC since it was given birth to in 1992.

The NDC wrestled the Ahafo Ano North parliamentary seat from the NPP in the last elections through his instrumentality and campaign tactics.

He has been headmaster of the senior high school for the past seven years, three of which has been at Tepa Senior High School where tremendous transformation has occurred as a result of his leadership style.

His administrative skills and articulation have earned him the position of Public Relations officer and spokesman of the Ashanti Regional Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) for the past three years.

Against this background, Anarfi Mensah believes he is an achiever and best qualified for the calling of mayor of Kumasi to provide the development needs of residents.

He says it is time to move KMA as a development agent forward and that the time for experimentation is over.

The aspirant said projects have a lifespan and that projects would be reviewed if not found to be feasibly. He said projects are subject to review and re-tuned to suit the propose for which they (projects ) were embarked upon.

According to him, a formidable step towards effective implementation of planning strategies which are already on the drawing board is all that is needed to make the desired difference in the lives of residents of Kumasi.

The aspirant has vowed to make systems and structures at the KMA work through effective leadership and ensure reforms through advocacy and monitoring and supervision of officials.

Anarfi Mensah says he would preserve the dignity of his office and promised to be firm, free and fair.

He was, however, quick to add that he would not "spare the rod and spoil the child" when he has to deal with corrupt practices under his administration. "Sanctions would be applied to all accordingly," he affirmed.

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