The President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has revealed the arduous process adjudicators go through in order to receive their allowances.
Justice Senyo Dzamefe said payment of allowances has now become a battleground as members of the judiciary have to sometimes call in favours from people at the Presidency before they get paid.
Speaking at the Association’s Annual General Meeting, Justice Dzamefe described it as saddening as it hinders the autonomy of the judicial arm of government.
“It is sad, that judges in Ghana will have to fight every year for their legitimate allowances to be paid. It is sad, that the leadership of the Association has to personally, trek to the Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant General Department, Auditor-General’s Department to fight before allowances are paid.
“We have to fall on friends at the seat of government to push for such allowances to be paid,” he said on Wednesday.
The Association’s President further noted that the erratic mode of payment of allowances has left many judges and magistrates frustrated.
He indicated “We feel disrespected about the way our allowances are paid as if it is a favour being done us.”
Mentioning the fuel allowance as an example, Justice Dzamefe said no judge in the country has received such remuneration since January 2021.
He stated that due to the delay in payment, adjudicators are forced to pay for fuel from their already taxed salary and when government is ready to refund, it is taxed again.
This, according to him, means judges pay double tax for fuel alone.
“The courts insist very much on timelines in litigations since they are creatures of statute and yet, same is overlooked it comes to payment of allowances to us,” he said.
Describing delayed payment of allowances as the judiciary’s biggest issue, Justice Dzamefe appealed to government to handle the matter amicably to ensure the smooth running of the arm.