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Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has waded into the debate over the double salaries saga. He is of the view that the MPs involve abused their office for their personal gain. The anti-corruption campaigner believes Ghanaians have to be realistic in discussing the issue because legislators have to behave honourably due to their work as law makers. In an interview with Accra based Citi Fm, he said even if government by mistake pays money into your account…and you double there you should know that you have been over paid and your duty is to tell your bank to return one of them.’’ He explained that you are supposed to opt as Member of Parliament when you are appointed a minister whether you are going to retain your parliamentary salary and receive only a top up…’’ MPs alleged to have received double salaries while serving as Ministers in the Mahama administration will not go scot-free, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has said. Some of those MPs include Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin, who nurses a presidential ambition, as well as Wa Central MP and ex-minister of Public-Private Partnerships, Dr Rashid Pelpuo; Inusah Fuseini, former Lands and Natural Resources Minister; Comfort Doyoe Ghansah, former Minister of State in charge of Social and Allied Institutions; Mr Eric Opoku, former Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and Fifi Kwetey, former Deputy Minister of Finance. Commenting on the matter, Mr. Amidu said: “What is worrying for me is the knowledge that some people are even talking to the president to compromise so that crime will be overlooked because they are Members of Parliament”. “… Why should a Special Prosecutor be prosecuting ordinary Ghanaians and your honourables will be involved in these things; then they will be talking to the president to wash it up. Then I have no need sitting here. I won’t even have the conscience to continue. “Will I have the conscience to prosecute any other body for corruption if the CID finds something prosecutable and are not allowed to prosecute because Members of Parliament are involved? That is not fair,” the former AG said. He continued: “The ordinary man going to jail is a human being like a Ghanaian. I don’t like this whole idea about political elite. Honourables you are supposed to be, and then you are just fleecing the country. Indeed, that is an offence of abuse of office for private gain”. “Money was ever paid into my account… When my bank notified me I told them to return it because that is not what me and the Attorney General agreed. I could have kept it. This is what they should have done. You don’t keep the money for six months, one year, two years or three years, you’ve left office, one-and- half years, you’ve not made any efforts to return it. Then when the CID begins seeing it now you are rationalising it and yet when the ordinary man takes plantain one bunch, he goes to jail for 15 years. So, what is the political elite telling us?” “If it’s been happening since 1992 and no one has seen it, now it has been seen, those responsible should bear the consequence,” he added.
The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has selected Meralco Consortium, Company to manage the Electricity Company of Ghana [ECG], under the power compact Two agreement. The Company which is led by Manila Electricity Company from Philippines is known to have the highest combined technical and financial score, and has therefore been designated as the Preferred Bidder, a statement from MiDA said. According to MiDA, the company have distribution network which covers a third of the Philippines and serves a customer population in excess of six million. It will be recalled that CH Group recently pulled out of the list of bidders leaving BXC Company Limited and Meralco Consortium. The Millennium Challenge Corporation will inject an amount of 418 million dollars into whiles Meralco will invest about 500 million dollars.
A landlord at Bibiani in the Western region has allegedly stabbed his tenant over rent arrears. Narrating the incident on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, our correspondent, Christopher Anto, said the landlord went to the tenant to demand for his two months outstanding rent which the tenant owed him. However, the tenant, Stephen Okyere, 29, refused to pay the money a situation which resulted in a misunderstanding. Infuriated by the action by his tenant, the landlord, Paul Kumi, 49, allegedly went in for a knife and reportedly stabbed him [Okyere] multiple times on various parts of his body. The incident he noted occurred on Wednesday April 18, 2018. The landlord has since gone into hiding after the incident whereas the tenant has been admitted at the hospital.
Government of Ghana has reacted to the statement delivered by Professor Philip Aston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Humans that politicians in Ghana are champions of slogans but are not good at programmes which can significantly benefit the country’s economy or the lives of its citizens. Addressing the press today [Thursday], Minister of Information, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, said the report by the UN representative is coming at a time when programmes of social protection have been given high priority status. The minister told journalists that ‘’the budget for social protection shot up by 300 per cent last year, the highest ever on record under any government in Ghana since independence.’’ Professor Alston indicated that the one district, one factory and one village, one dam, although attractive on the surface, achieve very little in principle. But reacting to the statements, the Information Minister said farmers in the three Northern regions, in particular are seeing a significant increase in their incomes since the introduction of the planting for jobs programme.’’ He said government has reduced the cost of fertilizer by a massive 50 per cent and on top of halving the cost, farmers are not asked to pay first hand; moreover they are given the option paying with their produce rather than cash after harvesting.’’ The one-village-one dam which will take off this year, is another poverty alleviation policy to enable farmers in three regions of the north to engage in all year agriculture.’’ He also described as inaccurate as inaccurate claims by the professor that ‘’informed estimates that existing taxes yield less than 10 per cent of their potential because of exemptions that have been included to satisfy special interest,’’ adding ‘’this is inaccurate. In 2017, we missed our revenues target by only 4 per cent. While this may not be exactly good news, because we need to collect the maximum tax projections, it nonetheless shows that his ‘’informed estimates’’ are not exactly informed.’’ He was optimistic that the policies by government will see marked improvement in the lives of poor communities of our country, that hopefully will help bridge the gap between the wealthy and the poor…So we have moved beyond mere sloganeering to actual implementation of programmes that are physically visible on the ground.’’
The Minister of Sanitation Mr. Kofi Adda has disclosed at the second Annual General Meeting of Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA) that GH¢99 million out of the GH¢400 million realized from the plastic waste levy from 2014 cannot be traced. He is alleging that the money disappeared during the erstwhile John Mahama government. He added: “As of September 2016, about GH¢99 million was taken but we cannot account for it, we don’t know where it is. Our government cannot trace the money,” he said. The Ministry he noted has taken new steps to prevent a repeat of the malfeasance. “…so this year we put in mechanisms in place through the Ministry of Finance to ensure that once that money is collected we make it available for use to support sanitation,” he said. He made the revelation after the Ghana Plastic Management Association (GPMA) demanded from the government to give them what is due them.
The Information Minister Dr. Mustapha Hamid, has strongly stated that, Ghana will not legalize same sex marriage despite pressure from foreign nations. The Minister at a press briefing held to react to a statement issued by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights stressed that, homosexuality is unacceptable in Ghana. He told journalists that our laws do not only frown on it because it is not accepted based on our cultural and religious beliefs. He was reacting to statements made by the Professor who indicated at a press conference on Wednesday that, the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye was living in delusion hence his stance on gay rights. The speaker of parliament had earlier revealed that homosexuality is not in Ghana and that it is a strange activity that will not be accepted in the country but the UN official says Ghana's speaker of parliament has no idea of what is happening in Ghana. According to the UN official, the number of gays and lesbians in Ghana is overwhelming and that enforcing gay rights could help safeguard the interests of the community. “If you tell me that a man must sleep with a man so as to show his human rights for Ghana, I can assure you that our Parliament is a real micro pause of the rule of Ghana. Ghanaians do not support gay rights and nobody is going to make any law that will support this kind of thing,” he revealed to the media after the UN held a fact-finding visit to Ghana about human rights and administrative justice. The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has also promised her country’s support to help Ghana decriminalize anti-gay laws. She suggested that the UK’s role in introducing anti-gay laws in former colonies such as Ghana is responsible for their strong stance against the practice today; reiterating the UK’s readiness to assist such countries repeal anti-gay laws and accept the rights of such persons. But reacting to issue, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, said ‘’we are uniquely Ghanaian…The law is based on custom and tradition…So the custom of the land is what factions law. So people or the law cannot be divorced from the cultures and traditions of the people. So as far as our cultures and traditions are concerned, gayism and lesbianism are un-Ghanaian.’’ He went on to add: ‘’it is difficult to see how foreign interests can impose foreign cultures on us…It is a non issue. The issues of bread and butter which is what I have been responding to, are more critical. The issue of poverty and how we can eradicate it are the matters that concerns developing nations today. If they’ve gone past the kind of poverty that we have and therefore can afford to talk about other issues, that is fine with them. But for us, we [Ghana] want to stick with the bread and butter issues.’’
Former chef de mission, Mr. Charles Asirifi has expressed disappointment in the recent saga surrounding the Commonwealth Games in Australia. He has also blamed Sahnoon Mohammed, the chef de mission for the embarrassment. He made this known during an interview with Rainbow Sports. A chef de mission is the leader of the delegation or a national team at international events. ‘’The chef de mission is the last point of call and before anything happens, the leader of the delegation is supposed to make sure he looks into issues that arise and make sure all that needs to be done is put in place,’’ he stated. Mr. Charles Asirifi however said that, he does not understand why all that went on in Australia because the chef de mission should not have allowed the embarrassment to occur. He reiterated that Mr. Mohammed Shaanoon has failed the country and what has happened is even worst compared to the Brazil saga. “I strongly support the President’s remarks that all persons found culpable in the scandal will be dealt with by the law and when this is done, it will help prevent any likelihood of such things happening. Mr. Sahnoon Mohammed has been charged to steer all activities leading up to adequate preparations for the Ghanaian contingents ahead of the Commonwealth Games. By: Adnan Osman (Intern)
Former President John Dramani Mahama is in Ethiopia for the 7th TANA High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, taking place on April 21 and 22 at Bahir Dar, a statement signed by her Special Aide, Joyce Bawa Mogtarai has said. The statement added that: ‘’Ahead of the Forum, Mr. Mahama this morning met with the Chairperson of the TANA Forum, HE Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and officials of the TANA Forum Secretariat.Mr. Mahama will also pay a courtesy call on the Ethiopian Prime Minister, HE Abiy Ahmed Ali and the former Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn. ‘’In Bahir Dar, President Mahama will on Friday deliver a lecture on 'Self-reliance in Africa's Peace and Security Sector' at the Bahir Dar University,’’ the statement cconcluded.
The current Deputy General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Volta region, Joshua Makubu, has confidently stated that, the region is no longer the ‘World Bank’ for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). He called on the NDC to stop seeing the region as their strong hold because the performance of Nana Addo, has exposed how woefully the NDC performed and how the umbrella family took residents for granted. He said, ‘’the people of Volta region have not regretted voting for NPP and President Nana Akufo-Addo because comparing the performance so far of the current government against the so called government that sees Volta region as their world bank, I think most people are beginning to realize that, for the past years, we have also wasted our time and we have now started voting for the right party to give us a better governance.’’ On those claiming that the NPP has not performed, he said, no matter what the government does, there are elements that will still attack government based on their expectations. ‘’The NPP is delivering on our campaign promises. We took over office over the past one and a half years but our records have shown that, we are doing our best. In 2016, our major campaign promise was to ensure that every Ghanaian child is admitted into senior high school without any hindrance. We also promised to implement the three percent common fund for persons with disability and we have done that,’’ he touted. Joshua Makubu stressed, the performance of this administration is good and I am happy and the people in the Volta region are also happy about the performance of Nana Addo and his administration. Nana Addo has shown commitment and that is a positive sign of a visionary leader,’’ he added. The deputy scribe who is vying to retain his seat said his records have paid off for the party and he has produced an MP and by 2020 he is optimistic to produce more MPs should they retain him in office. He admonished party delegates to have confidence in his competence and retain him as the deputy scribe.
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