Feature Article of Friday, 26 October 2012
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
A fabricated story going around and claiming that the President has embezzled 170 million dollars is backfiring to the chagrin of the NPP. Apart from the absurdity of the claims themselves, the story only appears on Ghanaian websites even though it pretends it was culled form somewhere else. The exact source with a link has never been revealed. The story itself cannot stand on its feet even if it is written by the Associated Press or the World Bank! Swiss banking secrecy no longer cover nor block requests for criminal conduct. The repayment of World Bank and IMF loans are not transactions associated with the Vice-Presidency.
Thus the following account in the report does not make any sense whatsoever:
“World Bank officials working with IMF investigators started noticing huge discrepancies and gaps in Ghana’s loan payments and realized that there were irregular payments between March 2010 and June 2012 and that some payments were missing, after a forensic audit, 170 million dollars were traced to a Private Bank in Zurich, Switzerland called DZ Privatbank .
Though the bank invoked Swiss banking secrecy laws when asked to provide information, IMF investigators through electronic tracking found the accounts to be in the names of Mrs. Lordina Mahama, the President's wife and John Dramani Mahama.”
The story is not from the Associated Press. A simple web check reveals only Ghanaian web pages making these wild claims on behalf of one Pierre Wimhoven, who is described as 'an investigative journalist affiliated with transparency international and has written books on corruption in Asia, Africa and is active in the setting up of transparent institutions around the world. He currently is a Managing Partner for Associated Press News based in Zurich, Switzerland." Yet there is no other story associated with this name on the Internet! Google "Pierre Wimhoven" and see the results yourself.
It is not published anywhere apart from Ghana-related websites. Which means the real writer is among us and not in Zurich. It is a complete forgery. It would have been a different matter if the story was really authored by an AP correspondent, with the World Bank and the IMF collaborating the story. There is absolutely nothing of the sort. In fact the level of ignorance of Ghana's loan repayment schedules and protocols regarding bank accounts, puts this hoax in the class of the unintelligent lies and propaganda that keep coming from certain quarters.
Even the name of the supposed author appears fictitious because it is only associated with this story on the world wide web! If my suspicions are right it is obviously an individual or a group of individuals either associated with Mumuni Bawumia, or Akufo-Addo, who are behind this. All I wish to say now is that the impersonation of a news agency to propagate vile and defamatory propaganda of this nature, is probably criminal. I would look swiftly for the source of the hoax and deal with them according to the law. If the Ghana Police is interested, I have very clear ideas that can lead to the identification of the culprits behind this crime!
I do not know President John Mahama that well. As soon as it became clear that he was the one going to contest the NPP's Akufo-Addo for the Presidency in the forth-coming elections, I started reading tags of him being corrupt. That worried me, but I did not know what to make of it. Now I know. If a lie of this nature needs to be fabricated in order to inform Ghanaians how corrupt President John Mahama is, then it is because they have nothing against him. And if people who are determined to present him as corrupt have nothing really against the man, after all these years, then logically the man must be clean! For me, he does not only enjoy the benefit of the doubt just like every any one else, but he has my trust, because he has been scrutinized by enemies with hostile intent, and they have found nothing!
This is a scam that says nothing about President Mills but says everything about how stupid the authors are! Are they telling Ghanaians that the loans repayments to the World Bank and the IMF are transacted by the Vice-President and his wife? If they had even thought for a second that such claims are easily verifiable, they would have realized that it is not worth it. A simple google check shows that the story originated from Ghana. Apart from Ghanaian websites, it is absolutely nowhere to be found. Someone wrote down the story, chose the name of the write, and gave him a job! The writer has no known writing associated with his name on the world wide web, apart from this single story!
This is a big deal for President John Mahama because it means that they really have nothing against him. If people are so desperate to let Ghanaians know how corrupt he is and all they have are fabricated stories, then it has be be that they have nothing to hold against him. I did not know what to think when the rumours of corruption started emerging soon after the death of President Mills. I could trust President Mills than I have ever trusted any President of Ghana apart from Kwame Nkrumah, but I was not sure of President Mahama because I did not know him much. It gives me so much pleasure that this scatterbrained scam has help to demonstrate that the charges of corruption have been weighed in the balances and found wanting!
I was so relieved upon reading the comments under the story that Ghanaians are not that easy to be fooled. Most people had already cross-checked the story and found it false. It is strange that website like Ghanaweb even published this in the first place without checking the story. Media Houses such as Myjoyonline which recently won an award fell by the wayside as they stooped so low to churn out this disgusting piece of yellow journalism for their readers! The general impression is that this is good for the President. A comment that sums up the overwhelming feelings expressed by many Ghanaians is one that I saw on Ghanaweb under this story:
"I can't believe this because African politicians are not foolish, taking into consideration what happened to Mobutu and the rest. I have checked and crosschecked the website of the Associated Press and there is nothing like that. With modern transfer of information, only an idiot of a president which I know Mahama is not, will do something like this. When such publications turn out not to be true, then, the man BECOMES EVEN POPULAR. His popularity is going to soar." - Frank Agyena-Karikari, Date: 2012-10-24 14:03:09, Comment to: (AP) NEWS, NOT NPP
Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
Give me a follow on twitter: twitter.com/TheOdikro
Long live Ghana!
Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Liked it? Give me a follow on Twitter to for more: //twitter.com/TheOdikro