General News of Friday, 17 January 2014
Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said a whopping amount of Ghc2.8 billion was sank into the John Mahama campaign in 2012 in order to project him ahead of the 2012 elections.
"What happened in 2012, two months before the election? The huge over expenditure that they involved themselves in, to the tune of 2.8 billion cedis.
"And the apologists of the NDC will turn round and say John Mahama took only six weeks to campaign and defeated Akufo-Addo.
"Now the country knows that 2.8 billion of hard currency was utilised to project the cause of John Mahama. Monies that were not given to him by Parliament. Clear embezzlement of state finances to reposition himself. That is what happened," the minority leader told Myjoyonline.com in an interview on John Mahama's one year performance in office.
Ministerial appointees last week held a series of programmes in which they trumpeted government's achievements in the last one year of Mahama's tenure. The president later crowned the one year celebration with a media interaction with editors and senior journalists.
Far from the flowery achievements chronicled by the president and his appointees, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the country is "living in an era of too much propaganda."
He said the country has had to pay dearly for the misappropriation of state funds in 2012.
"...Because of that even statutory commitment could not be met. For nine months, they couldn't transfer monies into the District Assemblies Common Fund, to GETFund, monies that were meant for road fund were taken away. Health Insurance, they couldn't pay for ten months.
He said it was instructive that the president honestly admitted in his media interaction that 2013 was a difficult year, even though "his ministers, cheerleaders had been going round telling us how wonderful 2013 has been."
Touching on the controversial passage of the 2.5 Value Added Tax Bill into law, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the minority has constituted a group to ascertain the real impact of the VAT law on the average Ghanaian and will in the next four weeks bring out its report.
He said when the report is concluded, the facts will be made available and Ghanaians will be the better judges.