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Procurement processes for Covid fight in Ghana lacked adequate transparency – GII

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The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has said its Corruption Risks Assessment which evaluated the risks of corruption in government’s interventions revealed inadequate transparency with regards to the procurement processes related to Covid-19 interventions Rolled out by government.

The revelation of opacity in the procurement processes regarding the COVID-19 interventions, GII said, was further compounded by inadequate publication and accessibility of procurement contracts by the people of Ghana.

“While the situation was not unique to Ghana, the hardships which have ensued after the blatant abuse of public resources in the name of mitigating the effect of the pandemic on the people has left many questions than answers on the minds of Ghanaians.

“Various risks assessments undertaken on COVID-19 interventions globally by Transparency International and other development partners on COVID-19 interventions point to the fact that in an attempt to curtail the spread of the pandemic Governments around the globe took drastic decisions on life saving measures, as a result, overlooking laid down principles, rules and regulations of procurement, such as resorting to competitive bidding methods of procurement verifying suppliers, ensuring value for money and determining fair and competitive prices and instead resorted to the use of infamous sole sourcing and restrictive tendering methods,” the GII said in a statement to mark the African Union Anti Corruption Day on Sunday July 11.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta appeared before Parliament on Wednesday June 22 to account for how the Covid funds were utlised.

He explained, among other things, that in the area of free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, an amount of “¢200m was made available for free water and electricity for lifeline consumers, out of this, ¢143m utilized.”

He further said that “Though our response was bold and decisive and compassionate, it has also been costly. Mr Speaker, you will recall that on 30th March 2020, I made a statement to Parliament that the economic impact of Covid 19 pandemic on the economy of Ghana following the implementation of the coronavirus alleviation programme commenced.

“Furthermore, during the presentation of the 2020 mid year budget fiscal policy, I indicated that the supplementary request included the programme funding of ¢19.3billion from various funding sources to support the budget both directly and indirectly. On the expenditure side, an amount of ¢11. 16billion was programmed for Covid-19 related expenses. The difference of ¢8.14 billion was progarmme to provide for shortfall in revenue.

“In 2021, the budget programme of a total amount of ¢4.6billion for Covid-19 related expenses. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Finance mobilizes the needed financial resources whiles the various Covid-19 interventions and related expense were implemented by the relevant sector ministries and agencies.”

But GII said this cannot be described as accountability.

“It is instructive to indicate that in June 2022, the Minister of Finance, presented to Parliament a statement of accounts on the resources for COVID-19 intervention.

“However, suffice to say, that the Minister’s presentation cannot be construed to constitute an audit or accountability as it focused on the headline items rather than the detailed expenditure and compliance issues regarding the use of public funds,” the GII said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

Economist tells gov’t to do cost–benefit analysis before introducing tax policies in order to get them right

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The Government of Ghana has been told to do a thorough cost benefit analysis on its policy proposals before introducing them in order to assess whether those policies will yield the desired results when implemented.

An Economist, Dr Asu Sarkodie who made this suggestion said the analysis will determine whether or not the policy is feasible.

 

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 9, Dr Sarkodie indicated that the government has made some mistakes regarding its policies including the introduction of the e-levy.

“There must be some cost benefit analysis for every programme or every policy that the government wants to bring to assess the situation first. We have seen a number of mistakes made by this administration in respect to taxation, we have the luxury tax and the benchmark values, and the e-levy.

“My article on the e-levy was that I support the idea by the design is not what I support.”

source: 3news

Sir Mo Farah reveals he was trafficked to the UK as a child

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Sir Mo Farah was brought to the UK illegally as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant, he has revealed.

The Olympic star has told the BBC he was given the name Mohamed Farah by those who flew him over from Djibouti. His real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.

He was flown over from the east African country aged nine by a woman he had never met, and then made to look after another family’s children, he says.

“For years I just kept blocking it out,” the Team GB athlete says.

“But you can only block it out for so long.”

The long-distance runner has previously said he came to the UK from Somalia with his parents as a refugee.

But in a documentary by the BBC and Red Bull Studios, seen by BBC News and airing on Wednesday, he says his parents have never been to the UK – his mother and two brothers live on their family farm in the breakaway state of Somaliland.

His father, Abdi, was killed by stray gunfire when Sir Mo was four years old, in civil violence in Somalia. Somaliland declared independence in 1991 but is not internationally recognised.

Sir Mo says he was about eight or nine years old when he was taken from home to stay with family in Djibouti. He was then flown over to the UK by a woman he had never met and wasn’t related to.

She told him he was being taken to Europe to live with relatives there – something he says he was “excited” about. “I’d never been on a plane before,” he says.

The woman told him to say his name was Mohamed. He says she had fake travel documents with her that showed his photo next to the name “Mohamed Farah”.

A fake document, showing Sir Mo’s photo next to the name “Mohamed Farah”, was used to bring him into the UK

When they arrived in the UK, the woman took him to her flat in Hounslow, west London, and took a piece of paper off him that had his relatives’ contact details on.

“Right in front of me, she ripped it up and put it in the bin. At that moment, I knew I was in trouble,” he says.

Sir Mo says he had to do housework and childcare “if I wanted food in my mouth”. He says the woman told him: “If you ever want to see your family again, don’t say anything.”

“Often I would just lock myself in the bathroom and cry,” he says.

For the first few years the family didn’t allow him to go to school, but when he was about 12 he enrolled in Year 7 at Feltham Community College.

Staff were told Sir Mo was a refugee from Somalia.

His old form tutor Sarah Rennie tells the BBC he came to school “unkempt and uncared for”, that he spoke very little English and was an “emotionally and culturally alienated” child.

She says the people who said they were his parents didn’t attend any parents’ evenings.

Sir Mo’s PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, noticed a transformation in the young boy when he hit the athletics track.

“The only language he seemed to understand was the language of PE and sport,” he says.

Sir Mo says sport was a lifeline for him as “the only thing I could do to get away from this [living situation] was to get out and run”.

He eventually confided in Mr Watkinson about his true identity, his background, and the family he was being forced to work for.

‘The real Mo’

The PE teacher contacted social services and helped Sir Mo to be fostered by another Somali family.

“I still missed my real family, but from that moment everything got better,” Sir Mo says.

“I felt like a lot of stuff was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like me. That’s when Mo came out – the real Mo.”

Sir Mo began making a name for himself as an athlete and aged 14 he was invited to compete for English schools at a race in Latvia – but he didn’t have any travel documents.

Mo Farah celebrating at the 2012 Olympics in London
Image caption,Sir Mo won gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Mr Watkinson helped him apply for British citizenship under the name Mohamed Farah, which was granted in July 2000.

In the documentary, barrister Allan Briddock tells Sir Mo his nationality was technically “obtained by fraud or misrepresentations”.

Legally, the government can remove a person’s British nationality if their citizenship was obtained through fraud.

However, Mr Briddock explains the risk of this in Sir Mo’s case is low.

“Basically, the definition of trafficking is transportation for exploitative purposes,” he tells Sir Mo.

“In your case, you were obliged as a very small child yourself to look after small children and to be a domestic servant. And then you told the relevant authorities, ‘that is not my name’. All of those combine to lessen the risk that the Home Office will take away your nationality.”

Running ‘saved me’

Sir Mo says he wants to tell his story to challenge public perceptions of trafficking and slavery.

“I had no idea there was so many people who are going through exactly the same thing that I did. It just shows how lucky I was,” he says.

“What really saved me, what made me different, was that I could run.”

The woman who brought Sir Mo to London has been approached by the BBC for comment, but has not responded.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who was forced to flee Iraq with his family when he was 11, said hearing Sir Mo’s story was “heartbreaking and painful”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I salute Mo Farah. What an amazing human being, to have gone through that trauma in childhood, to come through it and be such a great role model. It’s truly inspirational.”

Source: BBC

Going to IMF is most appropriate thing to do – Andani

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The decision by the Government of Ghana to seek an International Monetary Fund (IMF) intervention is apt, former Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Dr. Alhassan Andani, has said.

He explained that in every economic establishment, one will get to a point where expenditure exceeds the income generation. Therefore, there will be the need to bridge the gap by resorting to a lender.

That is exactly what Ghana has done by heading to the Fund for a possible programme, he said.

“I think it is the most appropriate thing to do, the IMF, in the finances of nations, is more or less the lender of last resort and every economic entity, individual, companies in dealing their financials, you get to a point where your expenditure exceeds your income and therefore you need to go to your lender to discus how to bridge the the gap.

“At the point where we are in Ghana clearly, all of the programmes the government is prosecuting has positioned the country where the total expenditure outflow exceeds the income and income in this case, taxes and all other receivables that the government has. There is a big gap and therefore, [government] has the right and indeed, the responsibility to go to a lender of last resort which is the IMF. So I think it is the right thing to do.” he added.

Regarding the government’s decision to seek this support, a Senior Fellow at the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Dr John Asafu-Adjaye, said investor confidence in Ghana’s economy dipped due to the downgrade by international credit rating agencies hence, it makes sense to go to the IMF to rebuild that confidence,

Dr Asafu-Adjaye said the decision by the government to head to the IMF did not come as a surprise to him given the challenges that saddled the economy recently.

“Personally, I wasn’t surprised because given the sovereign rating downgrade, that Ghana suffered, Ghana is not able to to go into the capital market , investors confidence had gone down, capital flight. So I thought that going to the IMF makes sense in terms of restoring investor confidence,” he said during the 3businesscolloquium organized by Media General on Wednesday July 6.

The IMF staff team, led by Carlo Sdralevich, mission chief for Ghana, is in Ghana for initial discussions with Ghanaian authorities about a possible IMF-supported programme.

Mr. Sdralevich in a statement said “On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming days kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies. We are at an early stage in the process, given that detailed discussions are yet to take place.”

“The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic.”

“We are looking forward to our engagement with the authorities in Accra,” the Fund said.

The Government of Ghana on Friday July 1 announced that it was seeking support from the IMF.

This followed a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund, a statement by the Ministry of Information said.

By King Kwaku Mensa|3news.com|Ghana

The story of a stray bullet that left a permanent scar on John Mahama’s cheeks

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In 2012, the former president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, launched his autobiography, My First Coup D’état.

In the book, he shared some of the most personal details of his life, his growing up years, and especially his experiences from the time when Ghana experienced its first military takeover.

The former president also described some of his childhood memories on their father’s farm, one of which is how he got a scar on his face.

In the chapter titled “Perilous Crossings,” John Mahama described how he and his brothers, Peter and Alfred, took advantage of their father’s love for guns, to explore their youthfulness.

“It was in 1978, the long vacation after I’d finished writing my A-level papers. My father had a love of guns. There were handguns, revolvers, and rifles with single barrels, side-by-side double-barrels, and over-and-under double-barrels. You name it, Dad had it.

“Often on the farm, Peter, Alfred, and I would take the rifles and shoot wild rabbits and birds, usually partridges and guinea fowls, and carry them home with us to be cooked in a nice meal. When it came to shooting, Peter was better than all of us. That long vacation, Dad and several of our siblings were at the house in Accra, so Peter was looking after the farm in Tamale. When school closed, I stayed in Tamale to wait for my A-level results and to help Peter.

“Dad had a rifle that he favoured most when hunting. It was a 22-calibre semiautomatic with a scope and twenty-four-round magazine. Somehow, the scope got dropped and the crosshairs broke. Dad ordered a new scope from a company that was located abroad, but he left for Accra before it arrived. Because Peter was running the farm while Dad was gone, that rifle was in his possession. He’d been using it, even without the scope, when he went to the farm to hunt,” he wrote.

John Dramani Mahama explained further that when his brother took delivery of the scope, he wanted to give it a try and asked him to help out.

He added, that such an activity would have required them to go to a properly designed shooting range, but Peter, his brother, came up with an improvised bull’s eye.

With that, John had to navigate between helping to align the target and reading out the instructions to his brother, until things took a quick, near-deadly turn.

“Peter wanted to align the new scope to the rifle barrel, and he needed my help. Ordinarily, this is something that’s done at a shooting range. Since there wasn’t one anywhere in the vicinity, we decided to improvise. We got a piece of paper, drew a round target on it with a bull’s-eye, and stuck it to a piece of wood, which we placed on a stand. Peter got another stand for the rifle and placed it at a range of about ninety metres from the. We then began to zero the scope.

“I was responsible for marking the target and reading out the instructions to Peter. I was supposed to stand directly behind the tree, which was directly behind the piece of wood onto which we’d tacked the target. Any time Peter was going to fire a shot, I would go to my assigned post behind the tree.

“After Peter had squeezed off his shot, I would signal him to ensure it was safe before dutifully walking to the target to note where the bullet had entered. I would point my finger at the spot… Peter had fired maybe five or six shots already. He was about to fire another. I was walking to my post behind the tree when I remembered that I hadn’t crossed out the last bulled hole. If I didn’t cross it out, we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between his last shot and the one he was about to fire. I quickly went back to cross out the hole.

“While I was bent over the target, I felt something brush up against my cheek in that small bridge of space between my nose and my eye. I thought it was an insect or a cricket. I instinctively dropped the pen to swat it off. I think that’s when the sound of the shot registered in my mind. At the same time, I was touching my cheek and realizing that the flesh somehow felt different against my fingertips. It was unusually rough. I pulled my hand away and looked at my fingers, expecting to maybe find an insect. There was nothing.

“My skin still felt uncomfortable, so I rubbed my cheek again. This time, when I removed my hand, there was blood, it all happened within a matter of seconds. I didn’t make the link between the blood on my face and the sound of the shot I’d heard. I just kept rubbing my cheek, and the more I rubbed, the more the blood flowed,” he wrote.

Read the rest of this portion of the story of John Mahama in the excerpts below, courtesy GhanaWeb:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Watch video of how forcibly retired JJ Rawlings lambasted Limann government in 1979

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On June 4, 1979, Jerry John Rawlings led a government overthrow after the then military government of the Supreme Military Council (SMC II), led by Lieutenant General Fred Akuffo, was accused of massive corruption.

After leading the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) which governed the country and supervised an election in the same year, Rawlings handed over power to Dr Hilla Limann in September 1979.

Some nine months after handing over to a civilian government, British journalist, Robin Denselow, came to Ghana to document the state of the country at the time and what Rawlings had been up to.

“Today Jerry Rawlings is unemployed, he was sacked from the forces by the civilian government which he handed power to. He now lives in a small flat with his wife, a designer and spends his time driving around on his motorbike trying to keep alive the ideals of his June the 4th Revolution,” the journalist narrates in the documentary.

Intermittently, Denselow plays his interactions with Rawlings who sounded clear in his disappointment over the turn of events in the country after he handed over power to the Dr Hilla Liman-led civilian government.

On the actual state of the Ghanaian economy, the British journalist painted a picture of a country returning to the pre-June 4 days where prices of goods and services skyrocketed under a system called “kalabuley.”

“The main aim of Jerry Rawlings and the AFRC was to stamp out Kalabuley, an all-too-common Ghanaian word for profiteering, racketeering, and corruption. Market women were accused of hoarding food in order to force up black market prices.

“Kalabuley was checked for a time but not for long. The new civilian government has only been in power for nine months but inflation is over 100% and food is being sold way over recommended prices,” Denselow narrated.

The documentary highlighted the result of the situation in the country in some civilian agitations including strike action by workers of GIHOC, a state-owned beverage manufacturing company.

“Workers from GIHOC, Ghana’s biggest state holding company are striking over the government not approving their 15% pay rise and the fact that only managers are being given an extra cost of living allowance.”

“They are angry but by British standard, not exactly militant. They lobbied parliament and there was trouble when hungry workers grabbed for MPs’ breakfast. The government’s reaction was to sack all 8,000 GIHOC workers and asked them to reapply,” Denselow said.

A frustrated Jerry John Rawlings expressed further disappointment in the hostile attitude of the government towards him.

In the words of the British journalist, Rawlings was “officially no public enemy, but the government are frightened of him.”

“They are paranoid, it’s an expression of their paranoia about me. But even if I am supposed to be enjoying this kind of respect or popularity with the people, let’s at least put it to some use, you understand.”

“I am not asking to be the agriculture minister or anything like this. (But) You can keep me in the forces, I mean detach me to mobilise people all over the place. They say a hungry man is an angry man. The least you and I can do is to do something about their stomachs, you know. And they seem not to see the priority,” a livid Rawlings lamented.

Rawlings who had been relieved of his position in the military accused the leadership of the day of being separated from the citizens and ignoring their plight.

“It’s becoming explosive as far as I can see. And one; it could be so because they are ignorant of the mood of the people for a lot of reasons because they have enough in their stomachs and are making the mistake of equating their feelings to that man’s. But that is where they are wrong because that man is hungry,” he said.

The AFRC in its crackdown on the menace of corruption seized several properties of persons who it deemed to have profited from the Kalabuley system.

However, some of the frustrations shared by Rawlings in the documentary was how the civilian government was handling the issue of confiscated assets.

An example was a seized mansion which belonged to a European who used to guard the house with Doberman dogs and even a cheetah.

Whereas the AFRC committee that was responsible for confiscated assets recommended that the house be given to the state Tourist Development Company, the then Vice President, J.W.S. de-Graft Johnson had asked to be allocated the house as his official residence.

Asked if he was ever concerned about reassuming power, Rawlings after a long pause replied in the negative adding that he was more concerned about enlightening the citizens’ push for what they deserve.

Denselow, in his report, also underscored that he still had a liking for a civilian government but also highlighted what the economic and governance situation at the time could possibly result in with the popularity of Rawlings growing at the time.

Rawlings would go on to seize power again on December 31, 1981, under a military structure that became known as the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).

The PNDC ruled for over a decade before transiting Ghana into the Fourth Republic under the 1992 Constitution.

The PNDC era ended after the 1992 General Election which Rawlings won on the ticket of his political party, the National Democratic Congress.

After winning a second and final four-year term under the Constitution, Rawlings exited the presidency after a combined 19 years, handing over to the then opposition candidate John Agyekum Kufuor who won the 2000 elections.

Rawlings died in November 2020 having served in the army between 1968 and 1992, he exited the army with the title of Flight Lieutenant. He was buried in January 2021 after a national funeral at the military cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.

Watch the video below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

I will lead a massive demonstration against my own government over Gyato – NPP’s Hopeson Adorye

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Ideal College students clash with suspected land guards

Hopeson Adorye calls on IGP to investigate Gyato

Victims lament undue possession of their lands

Leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Hopeson Adorye has threatened to organize a demonstration against the man alleged to be responsible for the recent brutalities meted out on students and officials of Ideal College.

According to Hopeson Adorye, there is every reason to question the activities of Mr Clement Gyato who is said to have stormed the school with suspected land guards and men in police uniform to demolish an assembly hall under construction.

“I am coming to organize a demonstration. If Clement Gyato is a man he should enter the land again,” he fumed on the Asempa FM’s Ekosiisen show.

A livid Hopeson Adorye explained that the activities of Clement Gyato has become an albatross on the neck of the current government as he is said to go about illegally demolishing properties of Ghanaian citizens under the guise of reclaiming state lands.

Hopeson Adorye said to the best of his knowledge, Gyato has no such valid authority and is rather using the state to make personal gains at the expense of innocent citizens.

He therefore called on the minister for lands and natural resources, the presidency and the inspector general of police to investigate Gyato’s activities and bring him to book.

“This guy, if Samuel Abu Jinapor does not terminate, I will rise against my own government on this issue. We can’t sit for this nonsense to prevail,” he fumed.

During the demolition on Thursday, the Director of Ideal College is said to have sought to question the suspected land guards over what the school has since described as an illegal exercise.

In the process, the irate land guards reportedly pounced on the director, a situation that attracted the attention of some students.

Students who also went to the rescue of the director were met with brutalities resulting in some 23 of them suffering various degrees of injuries.

Following the incident, some residents of Mempeasem where Ideal College is located have said they have also been subjected to similar atrocities from the activities of Clement Gyato.

According to a victim who spoke on ‘Ekosii Sen’, he lost his bakery of over 20 years and a four-bedroom house after Gyato and his men unduly took possession of his legally acquired land.

The victims alleged that despite the claims that their lands were being repossessed by the state, new private owners are always allocated their lands as soon as they are ejected.

“They will eject you painfully and in just two days you will see fence walls springing up on the land. Meanwhile we have valid land titles and documents covering the land,” the victim said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2024 is not a done deal, NPP may turn things around – Franklin Cudjoe cautions NDC

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Government seeks IMF support amid economic crunch


NPP vows to break the 8

NDC tasked to work hard to win power

Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has cautioned the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be measured in their hope that the 2024 election year is a done deal and that they will by all means win power.

According to him, it will take hard work and vigilance from the party to pull off the magic wand in the election year.

In a post on his social media handle, Franklin Cudjoe said the government can turn things around before 2024 consequently giving the NDC a run for its money.

His comment comes on the back of the recent rising cost of living and an economic downturn which has compelled the government to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

“Meanwhile the major opposition party, the NDC should not assume 2024 is a done deal. Harder work, a very different path to the current one and VIGILANCE. The NPP may turn things around by 2024,” Franklin Cudjoe tweeted.

Ahead of the 2024 elections, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has vowed to break the 8-year power cycle jinx under the Fourth Republic, where power changes hands every eight years between the NDC and NPP.

The NDC is lacing its boots to upend the governing party in 2024 in the wake of an economic crunch.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

If Kagame is delivering and the people want him to rule for 40 years, let him run – Gabby

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Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, has commented on political developments in Rwanda, where the President recently announced that he could contest for a fourth term in office.

Commenting on an Asaase Radio story titled: “Paul Kagame to seek fourth term as president of Rwanda,” Gabby outlined four conditions for which Kagame could run or four more decades.

He cited Kagame delivering, free and fair elections, the people wanting him to continue in office and the rules allowing for him to carry on.

“If he is delivering and the elections are free and fair and the people want him to rule for 40 years and the rules allow…” his tweet read.

Kagame, in an interview with French broadcaster, France 24, disclosed that he is looking at running again in 2024. The 64-year-old has been in power for more than 20 years, but he said he would consider remaining in office for another 20 years.

“I consider running for another 20 years. I have no problem with that,” Kagame told the France 24 when asked about seeking re-election. “Elections are about people choosing,” he added.

In 2015, Kagame changed the constitution, allowing him to stay until 2034. During the last presidential elections held five years ago, he won 99% of the vote.

Other African leaders have been altering the term limits in the face of sweeping resistance. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled his nation since 1986, removed term limits in 2005. Kagame also fought in Museveni’s rebel army in helping the leader come to rule in Uganda.

Kagame’s rule came into being after his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, stepped down. Kagame served as the country’s vice president and minister of defense from 1994 to 2000 until Bizimungu’s resignation moved him to president.

Kagame also was the leader of the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front forces, which helped to overthrow the extremist Hutu government responsible for the 1994 genocide that killed a reported one million Tutsi and Hutu people.

From the deep tropical forests of Uganda to the State House of Rwanda, Kagame is indeed a true representation of the struggles that most African leaders have to go through to reach their political climax.

Kagame, whose leadership is often celebrated as an African success story, is accused by critics of being intolerant to dissent. A media law that was passed in the country’s parliament in 2017 essentially criminalized defamation of any official, including religious groups or their symbols.

With additional files from Face2FaceAfrica 

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

You have no asset register, why should we trust you to protect votes? – Ablakwa jabs EC

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North Tongu MP takes EC on over faulty record keeping


Ablakwa says some 21 top EC officials failed to comply with laws

MP insists doing so affects trust and confidence in EC

The Electoral Commission of Ghana does not have an asset register, which is a basic document meant to capture and record its assets across the country, a sitting lawmaker has disclosed.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament representing the people of North Tongu in a social media post dated July 11, 2022; stressed that the EC by their action were all but eroding public confidence in their core mandate of protecting votes.

Ablakwa described as ‘scandalous’ the fact that despite the amount of taxpayer and donor funds pumped into the EC, it did not have a basic document as an asset register.

“It is equally scandalous that despite receiving billions of taxpayer and donor funds over the years, the Commission doesn’t have an Asset Register to capture and record its extensive assets across the country such as landed properties, office premises, guest houses, residential accommodations, motor vehicles, office equipment, computers and accessories, furniture and fittings, etc.”

He asked how the EC expected to be trusted with preserving the sanctity of votes yet it had failed to keep an asset register.

“You can’t keep proper records of what we buy for you but somehow you expect us to trust you to preserve the sanctity of our votes, both of which remain under your supervision.

“We must always remember that trust and public confidence in our institutions and public officials are earned, and when they are eroded or absent, the consequences for our democratic stability are dire,” his post concluded.

Ablakwa also disclosed that some 21 top officials of the Commission had failed to submit statutory returns relating to their positions citing an Auditor General’s report.

“Who are these mysterious 21 top management staff and why were they allowed to violate Article 9 (1) of the Commission’s Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2018 which states: “Every employee will be required to give particulars about himself/herself on the STANDARD FORM (called PERSONAL RECORDS), which shall be inserted on his/her personal file?”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com