Founding President of policy think tank, IMANI-Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has reiterated his resolve to fight the controversial Kelni GVG contract.
The outspoken policy analyst describing the contract as a ‘’grand theft’’, said he will relocate to a different country should the current suit pending before the court go in favour of government.
He was delivering a lecture on ‘’Identifying Policy Gaps and Right Headline, Right Content’’, at the African Journalists for Economic Opportunities (AJEOT) at Koforidua in the Eastern region.
He slammed the Communications Ministry for failing to respond to the questions IMANI-Africa has demanded about the contract.
He insisted that the contract is duplication of jobs and a needless drain on the county’s scarce resource.
Two citizens have dragged government to court to halt the implementation of the contract with IT firm, Kelni GVG, for the real-time call traffic monitoring.
The two, Sara Asafu-Adjaye and Maximus Amertogoh want the Minister of Communication, the National Communication Authority, and the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Attorney General, the Ghana Chamber Telecommunications and the telecommunications networks to cease the traffic monitoring.
The Plaintiffs are also requesting from the court ‘’an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondents, whether, by themselves, their servants, workmen, hirelings, agents, privies or any persons claiming under through them, whosoever described from implementing and operationalizing the Common Platform until the final determination of this suit.’’
Commenting on the issue and the court case, Franklin Cudjoe said the contract which is estimated at $89 million is actually $178 million.
He said, ‘’the Ministry of Communication went to contract an unknown entity. As we speak we do not know the entity. Stop believing the $78 million, the actual figure is $178 million; that is the contract worth.’’
Franklin Cudjoe stressed the deal will invade our privacy and said, ‘’I may relocate if the ruling is different. This not to threaten the judge or anyone, but I will fight this deal till the last drop my blood.’’
AJEOT is being organised by Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) in partnership with Network for Free Society, ATLAS Network and Language of Liberty Institute.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has placed a temporary ban on foreign travels by all ministers, deputy ministers, MMDCEs and heads of government agencies, a statement signed by Chief of Staff, Frema Opare has said.
The statement said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, ‘’is however exempted from the temporary ban on foreign travels.’’
The statement said: ‘’the president has directed that, all foreign travels by Hon, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly.’’
Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, has taken a swipe at President Akufo-Addo over the criteria for the registration and issuance of the National Identity card popularly known as Ghana card.
He is wondering why the president will accept to be elected by Ghanaians who used the Voter’s ID card and yet deprive them of using same document to register for the Ghana card.
The legislator who was a presidential staffer under former President John Dramani Mahama, says the Minority will not be perturbed by any distraction and will not rescind on its decision to boycott the registration until the Voter’s ID card is accepted for registration.
His response is coming after the president slammed the Minority over their boycott and call for the Voter’s ID card to be used for the registration.
Speaking at Ashesi University yesterday [Saturday], the president described the action by the Minority as ‘’Surprising’’.
“I maintain it should be the greatest honour to be able to say I am a Ghanaian and we should have no difficulty in identifying a Ghanaian, not only as a legal entity but also through his or her behaviour.
‘I had hoped that the exercise to provide all citizens with a national identity card would receive the enthusiastic support of all us as the project finally gets off the ground after years of willful stagnation and neglect.
“Unfortunately we seem to have become embroiled once again in another of those full scale manufactured storms, deliberately engineered to slow down progress in everything we try to do,” he stated.
But Dr. Apaak in a response wrote: ‘’Ghanacard! MR. PRESIDENT - Sir, you can say what you want, that will not change our minds! It's indeed condescending and hypocritical for you to discount the voters ID as a primary document for the purposes of obtaining a Ghanacard when its the same voters ID that was the primary document by which are President today. Why will you, Mr. President, think it's alright to use a Ghanaian passport, when only 2 million Ghanaians have that, and Ghanaian birth certificates, when only 7 million have that, and leave out a Ghanaian voters ID, when by records 15.8 million Ghanaians have voters IDs. With due respect Mr. President, we will continue our boycott, it takes nothing away from the process if the voters ID, on the basis of which you are President, is included as a primary ID for the registration for the Ghanacard! Why should the process be confined to only those with passports and birth certificates? Are they more Ghanaian that those who do not have these documents but have voters IDs? I remain a citizen. ‘’
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has survived an apparent bomb attack at a rally in the city of Bulawayo.
Mr Mnangagwa said an object "exploded a few inches away from me - but it is not my time".
Video footage from White City Stadium shows an explosion happening close to Mr Mnangagwa as he leaves the stage after addressing supporters.
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said 15 people were injured, three of them seriously.
The exact number of people hurt by the blast remains unclear - and reports suggest it may be significantly higher.
The president was in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city and an opposition stronghold, to campaign for his Zanu-PF party ahead of nationwide elections taking place on 30 July.
He is favourite to win the poll, but analysts say he also has enemies - both for overthrowing his former mentor, Robert Mugabe, and for being a previous enforcer of the Mugabe regime.
A spokesman for Mr Mnangagwa said that while the president was unhurt, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi suffered a leg injury. Another vice-president, Constantino Chiwenga, received bruises to his face.
Other officials, including Zanu-PF party chairwoman Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, were also injured, as were some crew members from state broadcaster ZBC and security personnel.
Mr Mnangagwa, 75, said he had visited the injured in hospital. He condemned the violence as senseless and pleaded for unity.
"I am used to these attempts," he told state media.
Mr Mnangagwa came to power last November after ousting Mr Mugabe.
He was evacuated from the scene soon after the blast.
"People started running in all directions and then immediately the president's motorcade left at a very high speed," an AFP news agency correspondent at the scene reported.
The elections are the first in Zimbabwe since Mr Mugabe was forced out after 37 years in power.
"Vice-President Mohadi is nursing some leg injuries but he is in good spirit," he was quoted as saying.
Marry Chiwenga, the wife of Vice-President Chiwenga, was also injured and pictures on social media showed the president visiting her in hospital.
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa condemned the attack.
"Political violence of any nature from any quarter is totally unacceptable," he said.
"In the past 38 years political violence has been a permanent feature and an anticipated ritual... which we must expunge."
The US Embassy in Harare tweeted "thoughts & prayers".
The election - dominated by economic issues - is the first to be monitored by international observers since 2002. Mr Mnangagwa has said the vote will be free and fair.
The constituency elections of the NDC in the northern region have been marked by series of confusion and unrest with the most serious of it occurring at the Sagnerigu and the Tamale North constituencies.
At the Sagnarigu constituency in the Northern Region, there was an alleged over voting which an officer from the Electoral Commission was accused of issuing multiple ballots to some delegates to vote for his preferred aspirants.
This triggered a protest at the voting centre at the Tamale Technical University campus where the constituency elections was taking place.
Already the elections could not start earlier as scheduled as a result of some unresolved issues. Following the confusion, proceedings ended abruptly in the midst of the pandemonium.
Security personnel who were supervising the elections took away the ballot boxes to prevent further disturbances.
A joint military and Police team were deployed to ensure calm.
Meanwhile, the elections at the Tamale North Constituency have come to a standstill following the sudden appearance of a former constituency chairman on the ballot paper though he was not contesting.
The elections are however ongoing smoothly in other constituencies across the Northern region.
Over 24,000 delegates take part in NDC constituency elections in Northern Region
A total of 24,542 delegates from over 2,688 branches were expected to cast their votes in the NDC constituency elections in the Northern Region on Saturday and Sunday.
A total of 20 constituencies were to elect their leaders on Saturday whilst the remaining eight will theirs on Sunday June 24, 2018.
By: Prince Kwame Tamakloe
The head of Network for Free Society, Professor Brian Baugus has challenged African journalists to be bold in exposing corruption and telling stories that will expose bad leadership in the content.
According to him, due to illegal systems and corruption in Africa, Africans are not seeing the progress and development they need to see.
Professor Baugus was delivering a lecture via Skype at the African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT)-two-day training for some selected journalists from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Switzerland at Koforidua.
‘’Africa have rich resources including gold and so why has it not developed like the other countries? This is because we have an illegal system and corruption,’’ as the major challenges.
The laws in Africa he added have been designed to help the political elite and deprive citizens of their rights and opportunities.
The Professor underscored the need for Africans to have an entrepreneurship mentality so we will have individuals creating their own businesses; low taxes so businesses and private sector will expand and low corruption.
He also lamented over the decision by African leaders to invest in Europe and put their investments in Swiss accounts for their own selfish interest.
‘’We have a number of leaders who are investing in Europe, United States of America or Canada for their own selfish interest. They put the money in Swiss accounts for their own selfish interest. That is the story that needs to be told over and over again…because it is a complete violation of trust, and abuse of public office.
He also touched on the list of the top richest African leaders indicating that, the first 8 names are individuals who have successfully managed businesses in the transport, telecommunication and other sectors of the economy whereas the other remaining lists have names of African leaders and their children following, a situation he stressed have to change.
A prosperous system he suggested should be the one that is devoid of bribery, corruption and but a proper working legal systems. When we have that in place, countries prosper.
He emphasized the need for African journalists to tell stories that will help Africa develop so we will have a system that will ensure economic liberty and free market economy.
The two-day intensive residential training is being organized by the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) in partnership with Network for Free Society and ATLAS Network.
ILAPI Ghana is a research and advocacy think tank that focuses on economic freedom, individual liberty, education, policy analysis and rule of law.
Its mission is ‘’To ethically and morally help shape public policies through the values of entrepreneurship, free market economics, research, education, accountability, rule of law, poverty alleviation and individual liberty.’’
The Minority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Asawase , Muntaka Mabarak, is hoping the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, will be suspended for a year.
He is also calling for the MP to be stripped off all privileges as a legislator due to his uncouth behaviour.
Muntaka Mubarak dragged his colleague MP on the Majority side before the Privileges Committee for reportedly describing the House as useless body.
Kennedy Agyapong is expected to appear before the House on Tuesday June 26, 2018.
But even before he appears before the committee, the maverick politician [Kennedy Agyapong] has threatened to give Muntaka Mubarak a showdown.
He has also threatened to reveal to the public what he [Mubarak] told him [Agyapong] to tell Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful before her vetting.
Reacting to the threat, Muntaka Mubarak dared the MP to bring it on because he [Muntaka] is ready to face him squarely.
According to him, Kennedy Agyapong is a poor person if the only thing he thinks about is money.
‘’Nobody eats from his home, nobody is afraid of him. I think that what he has done is contempt of parliament.’’
‘’I dare him, if he thinks he is a man, he should met me on the corridors of parliament and misbehave, the whole world will hear of us,’’ he threatened.
The Asawase MP who was angry said, Kennedy Agyapong was not brought up properly and due to his behaviour, he does not talk or discuss anything with him.
‘’I am not afraid of him and I don’t think anybody is afraid of him. He is not a friend and he is not the type I Will chat with,’’ he said.
He added; ‘’this is about time somebody knocks sense into his head. He thinks that this country belongs to him? This country does not belong to you…’’
‘’I strongly believe that parliament should suspend this gentleman for the rest of the year; He doesn’t deserve to be in the House. Insulting everybody…we need to take that privilege from him so that people can deal with him.’’
‘’He doesn’t regard anybody; he is throwing threats at anybody. He cannot threaten me I am daring him. He should bring it on and the whole world will hear of us.’’
United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has posited that the decision by the US to slap Ghana visa restrictions is neither a threat nor a hasty decision as suggested.
According to him, the US is only enforcing its immigration laws and that, the over 7,000 Ghanaians who are facing deportation orders have either overstayed their visas or violated US laws.
He told Accra based Citi Fm that, said the US has maintained a very cordial diplomatic relation with Ghana and has always sought to deport Ghanaian citizens who have overstayed their visas or broken US laws to be deported in a very safe way.
He said Ghana is currently reneging on its legal obligation to issue travel documents to Ghanaians under deportation orders which will allow them to be deported via commercial flights.
He also revealed the number of Ghanaian deportees is the 6th largest in the world.
“The United States in Ghana have a great relationship. It is unfortunate that almost 7,000 Ghanaians are facing deportation from the US because they have overstayed their visas or broken US law. We have been working with the government of Ghana my entire time here to repatriate people in the most humane way possible,” he said.
“The statement that the embassy issues saying that Ghana could face visa sanctions is not a threat, and I don’t want it to be a threat. What I want is for the embassy of Ghana in the United States to interview one person facing deportation and issue one travel document every business day. If the Embassy does that, we will solve this problem. It is not any more complicated than that. We’ve gone public because we see a few travel documents being issued and it stops,” he added.
He added: “Just as Ghana deports people, the United States also have the right to deport people. I’ve been talking with the government of Ghana about this for over two years. This is not [a] hasty [decision]. I talked to Members of Parliament. I talked to people in the old government; I talk to people in the current governments. I am acting on instructions. This is not something I am initiating. We will enforce our immigration laws.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has refuted claims that has failed meet its obligations under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAD).
The Ministry in the statement said it ‘’continues to engage its Missions in the United States of America on the matter and has already communicated their concerns to the US Embassy in Ghana about the need to do due diligence and establish the nationalities of the deportees before they are issued with travel documents.’’