Voters register: Anger brews over payment, registration officers bare teeth at EC

Some persons whose services have been engaged by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the ongoing voters registration exercise have expressed discontentment over the decision by the body to pay them an amount they describe as “woefully inadequate.”
The registration officials have accused the EC of cajoling them into accepting to serve as officers at various registration centres with the promise of giving them appreciable remuneration only to be disappointed weeks into the exercise.
“The EC told us to start work without telling us how much we’ll be paid. We were told we will be given a hefty amount in return,” one of the aggrieved officers registered his displeasure to GhanaWeb.
“The registration started three weeks ago and a payment plan was presented to us yesterday. There is no health insurance package.”
Sounding furious and disappointed, to say the least, another personnel lamented that the treatment meted out to them is a slap in the face.
According to the dissatisfied officer, they expected better figures considering how they have had to risk their lives at a time coronavirus is fast-spreading.
“Laminators are taking GHC60, Data Entry Clerks are taking GHC70 while Registration Officials are taking GHC80 daily. We work eleven (11) hours a day. We’ve sacrificed to work in the midst of coronavirus scare and can’t be given GHC100 a day; what kind of treatment is that? This is a matter of life and death,” the personnel fumed with rage.
Despite being “underpaid” the personnel told GhanaWeb they have had to bear the cost of transportation from one registration centre to the other, a situation they say is worrying.
“They [the EC] commute us to a registration centre but when we’re moving from one station to the other, we foot our transportation bills,” another claimed while disclosing that, “Sometimes, you get to a community and there’s no electricity; we have to contribute and buy fuel to power a generator for use. They promised but failed us.”
Having been told they are to pay tax on the amount they are unsatisfied with, they say, is the straw that is breaking the camel’s back.
“They’re even taking a tax of 5% from the meagre amount,” another simmered with resentment. “We have the right to advise ourselves if our concerns fall on deaf ears.”
After the back and forth over the need or otherwise of a new electoral roll, the Electoral Commission commenced its month-long nationwide voters registration exercise on June 30.
The EC has argued that the compilation of the register is an ingredient for a free and fair election on December 7, 2020.
The exercise will be held in some 6788 clusters made up of five registration centers each across the country. It will be conducted in 5 phases, each phase spanning 6 days with additional days for mop-up.

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