Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Minister Of Lands And Regional Administration Has No Authority To Appoint Or Remove Chiefs

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It would be grossly unconstitutional for any letter to originate from the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, removing any chief from office. The constitution is very clear on this subject.

Section 58 of the Constitution empowers the President to appoint Chiefs and by so doing mandates the President to remove Chiefs under section 231 subsection (5) of the Constitution.

Section 58 of the Constitution reads: “The President shall appoint a District Seyfo in consultation with the Minister responsible for local government.”

Hence it is clear from this that it is the sole authority of the President to appoint Chiefs.

The question now arises: Who has the mandate to remove Chiefs from office? The answer is simple. Section 231 subsection (5) reads: “Without prejudice to the provisions of section 167, but subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, the power to make any appointment to a public office includes the power to dismiss any person so appointed.” It is therefore clear from this that only the President of the Republic has the authority to remove Chiefs.

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Hence no other authority has the constitutional authority to appoint or remove Chiefs other than the President of the Republic. Any other person that does so unconstitutionally. Ministers are liable to removal from office through vote of censure if they violate the Constitution.

The relevant portion reads: “The National Assembly may, by resolution supported by the votes of two-thirds of all the members, pass a vote of censure against a Secretary of State on the grounds of –

(a)    his or her inability, arising from any cause, to perform the functions of his or her office;

(b)    abuse of office or violation of any provision of this Constitution;

(c)    his or her misconduct in office.”

If the Barrow administration wants to transform the office of Chief, the only way to avoid tyranny in the appointment and removal of Chiefs is to introduce the elective principle. Any other way is to replace one form of tyranny with another.

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