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Feature Article of Friday, 29 June 2012

Columnist: Kabore, Haleema Asana

Ghana Free Zones Board Is Being Destroyed By Corruption

The campaign by Media Watch Research Associates with its several appeals to the President of the Republic of Ghana and leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress, President John Atta Mills , , to relieve and prosecute the current Executive Secretary of Ghana Free Zones Board, Mr Kojo Twum Boafo for acts of corruption, theft and diversion of public funds for personal use and conflict of interest under Article 284 of our National Constitution will continue in the national interest. Mr Twum Boafo’s continuous stay in office really creates the impression that President Mills is supporting corruption. The public purse and our national constitution cannot be subject to the personal whims and caprices of one man. We will continue with our campaign which we believe is in the interest of the Ghanaian people for Mr Boafo to be removed, investigated thoroughly and if culpable face the law. Should any citizen, especially an appointed public official, be above the laws of Ghana?

Reasons why Kojo Twum Boafo must go
1. Ghana Free Zones Board has now become the personal property of Mr Kojo Twum Boafo where public funds are dissipated and diverted to satisfy personal whims and caprices. We have discovered from some from the workers at the Ghana Free Zones Board In January this year, he diverted two vehicles, a Nissan Qashai and a Toyota Camry to one Miss Sandra Essandoh, an employee of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and a certain Miss Donna Adu Frimpong of Merchant Bank, Accra.
2. Ghana Free Zones Board was set up to support and promote the expansion of our country’s manufacturing industry. We insist that this vision is sabotaged when public officials begin to engage in clandestine practices that would lead to its destruction. Tha audit report which we have repeatedly asked the auditor General to publish will show that 500,000 US Dollars is missing. WHERE IS THE MONEY ? Why is the auditor General refusing to publish this report? Once again we ask, who has been pulling the strings to save Mr Twum Boafo from possible prosecution and prison sentence?

3. Kojo Twum Boafo has not denied he has a business which is a private limited company with Mr Ato Ahwoi which is based at labone estates in Accra. We stand by the statement that this company receives 40% of all government contracts without going through public tender. This company for example recently got a contract in breach of our procurement laws as it did not go through tender to
a.Buy a catalyst chemical solution used in the refining of crude oil(contract worth 6 million dollars for three years)
b. Supply all Regional Hospitals with X-ray equipment
(contract is worth 5 million dollars per year) for 2 years. Ghana Free zones board vehicles and logistics have been used at various times to transport vital equipment as a cover.

4. Mr Twum Boafo’s interest in this company and the use of Ghana Free Zones Board Logistics is a clear conflict of interest and violates Article 284 of our National Constitution which states “a Public Officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interests conflicts or is likely to conflict with the functions of his office”. Once again we ask is Mr Twum Boafo above the law and above the constitution of the Republic of Ghana?

5. Mr Twum Boafo has still not told the truth about his relationship with the South African National and businessman Pieter Von Guggestien, his relationship with some south African nationals and the bank accounts he as opened in Namibia and Angola. We call on him to come clean.

6. Once again we throw an open challenge to the Auditor General to publish the financial status on the Ghana Free Zones Board during this period. We appeal to the Auditor General not to cover up any financial malfeasance that is discovered and that will corroborate our position.

7 . We also appeal to, The Presidency, EOCO and CID to dig deep , investigate and rebuild Ghana Free Zones Board so it beomes a relevant institution once again that supports the governments vision of creating jobs, expanding investment and building a manufacturing base for Ghana.



Mr Twum Boafo must account and refund these public funds he has diverted . We will continue to appeal to President Mills and Ghanaians to make sure this is done and for the law to take its course.


Mrs Haleema Asana Kabore,
Mediawatch Research Associates,
Kaneshie First Light
Accra

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