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Editorial News of Saturday, 7 August 2021


Health Minister free as Deputy Speaker fails to decide on committee report

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, on Friday, August 6 declined to take a decision on the fate of the Minister of Health after the nine-member bi-partisan committee tasked to probe the procurement of overpriced Sputnik V vaccines laid its report on the floor.

The Minority had called for a vote of no confidence in the Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who was in the House. He represents Dormaa Central Constituency.

Mr Agyeman-Manu had admitted during public sitting of the investigative committee that he took a unilateral decision in contracting the Emirati middleman for the supply of the vaccines, which were at a unit cost of $19 instead of the factory price of $10.

“Those were not normal times and I was seriously in a situation that didn’t make me think properly, the way you think that now I will actually abreast myself with the situation,” he had told the committee Monday, July 19.
There was heated debate on the floor of the House over the recommendations of the report.

Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka accused the chairman of the committee, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader, of trying to shield the Minister.

“The public that watched the proceedings, the questions that were asked and the answers that were provided are public records,” the Asawase Member of Parliament said.

“If anybody takes the video of the proceedings and try to match it with the findings and the recommendations, you will clearly see a lot more has been left out.”

The sit-in Speaker, after failure of the two sides to reach a consensus, adjourned sitting sine die.

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