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General News of Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Source: Class FM

Kickbacks motivated brochure hijacking – Kweku Kwarteng

The printing of the error-ridden brochures distributed at Ghana’s 59th Independence Day celebrations was taken away from the Information Services Department (ISD) and given to politicians and presidential staffers at the Flagstaff House so that those individuals will get kickbacks from the contract, Ranking Member of the Communications Committee in Parliament Mr Kweku Kwarteng has alleged.

“I have no doubt that the motivation for this was for someone to benefit illegitimately from the payment related to it,” the Obuasi West MP told Evans Mensah on Joy FM Tuesday 8 March 2016.

Brochures distributed during the anniversary were riddled with inaccuracies including a wrongful designation of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as the President of Ghana.

The Coat of Arms of Ghana was referred to as the ‘Coat of Arm’, among a raft of other spelling and grammatical errors.

The development has sparked international ridicule of Ghana, with social media inundated with messages from Ghanaians, who have expressed displeasure over the incident, which Mr Kwarteng described as “disgraceful and embarrassing”.

Mr Kwarteng pointed out that the issue “throws up a simple question about who is in charge of government or state communications. Why is it that something that traditionally is done by the Information Services Department (ISD) was now being taken over by politicians and staffers at the presidency? Why did it happen?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, angry staff of the ISD are demanding an apology from their acting director, Francis Arthur Kwarteng, for taking responsibility for the errors in the brochures, even though they say the state institution had nothing to do with it.

They are demanding a retraction of the apology and also an apology for jumping ahead to apologise for something the Department is not to be blamed for.

A senior employee of the ISD (name withheld) told Class News’ Naa Deedei Tettey Tuesday March 8 that the brochures have always been printed by the ISD, but this time around that responsibility was given to a private firm.

“We didn’t even have an idea where they printed those brochures and nobody told us anything about it,” he said.

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