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General News of Monday, 6 June 2011

Source: The Herald

Kufuor Stole State Cash – Rawlings

After several days of Mills bashing, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings has now taken the fight to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), saying ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor has stolen enough of the nation’s cash to an extent, that he is in a position to make a king.

He said even though ex-president Kufuor cannot, by the constitutional provisions, run for the presidency again, he has “stolen” the nation’s money that he could impose another leader on the country.

He said corruption, assassination attempts and ethnic murders, were the hallmarks of the Kufuor administration.

Mr. Rawlings was sad, however, that an attempt to find out how much Mr. Kufuor, as president, stole from the people of Ghana, has been thwarted by “a big man at the Castle” after a meeting with “a certain General”, when Gizelle Yatzi, the Iraqi-American woman, expressed her willingness to come to Ghana and help trace the assets of ex-President Kufuor.

The Herald’s independent check at the Presidency reveal that “the General” referred to by Mr. Rawlings is Lt-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, and “the Big Man” as none other than President John Evans Atta Mills himself.

President Mills is said to have remarked he doesn’t want to go into history as the first President under whose tenure an ex-president was probed. This was after General Nunoo-Mensa made contact with Gizelle Yatzi, and was followed up with a secret meeting in the United States of America (USA).

Additional findings by this paper reveal that there was confusion at the seat of the government as to the mode of taking Gizelle Yatzi, who claims to have a set of twins for ex-President Kufuor, should be heard.

Whilst some, including Lt- General Nunoo-Mensa favoured a Presidential Public Enquiry, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, then as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, was of the view that the EOCO should be made to take the evidence from the lady who was once an Economic Advisor to the Kufuor government, in cameral but not a public hearing.

Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Francis Y. Kpegah, was to chair the Public Enquiry.

Mr. Rawlings, who was addressing the 32nd anniversary of the June Uprising at the Jubilee Park in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region on Saturday, gave President Mills a clean bill when it comes to corruption, but said that although he has heard claims of corruption against some of the President’s men, he was yet to verify how true those claims were.

Contrary to the expectation of many, Mr. Rawlings did not touch on the GH¢ 90 million Mills’ campaign cash secret tape recording which Mr. Herbert Mensa had told the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) was in his custody.

He insisted that President Kufuor stole much, and that there was the need to prove what a thief and a murderer his regime was. It was the inability of Mills-led government to probe Mr. Kufuor which has empowered his successor to be calling he Rawlings names, and referring to President Mills as corrupt.

According to him, Kufuor and some of his men in the NPP are not principled; hence despite the huge financial assistance they got to decimate the National Democratic Congress (NDC), they could not succeed in doing so, enabling the NDC to defeat the NPP with its core values of probity and accountability.

Ex-President Rawlings said the politics of convenience – “scratch my back and I scratch your back” – is the reason why the Mills administration has failed to prosecute alleged corrupt officials under the erstwhile New Patriotic Party administration.

He could not fathom why almost three years under an NDC government, not a single corruption allegation made against officials of the previous government has been investigated and perpetrators thrown to jail.

The ex-President said some persons within the Mills administration have become profound beneficiaries of the politics of convenience and are amassing so much wealth.

He said that so dire is this conspiracy that these unnamed elements within the NDC, are ready to cede power to the NPP in 2012 than have a credible, visionary and corruption-free leader within the NDC to retain power.

The ex-President challenged delegates and the many grass root supporters of the NDC, some of who thronged the Jubilee Park, chanting, showering praises and adulation on him, to stand up for justice and to make a fervent effort to rescue the country – “sinking boat” – from further obliteration.

He described July 8, 2011, date for the NDC’s Delegates’ Congress next month in Sunyani as a moment for truth.

According to John Rawlings, it is time to take over the party, the government and the country, clean them up and hand them over to a more responsible leader.

It is his conviction that his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, will win the primaries with over 70 percent votes, and will be the changing force within the NDC. But in the unlikely event that Mills refuses to accept the will of the delegates “the inevitable will happen.”

He said June 4, 1979, was the day of liberation for the country. According to him, the country was so saddled with corruption and bad leadership that the people realized “enough was enough.”

Likening the June 4 uprising to the tender love of a mother, ex-President Rawlings said it is only when the mother dies or leaves her children that her true value is felt.

He said the Arabs are now going through their June 4 and 31 December revolutions, something Ghana has gone through over 30 and 20, years ago respectively, and charged Ghanaians to jealously guard the principles of probity and accountability.

Mr. Rawlings chided flaws in democratic elections which he said provided the opportunity for corrupt people to buy their way into power and in the process destroy the reputation of well-meaning Ghanaians. The Mills administration, he noted, has been a disappointment to the rank and file of the NDC, and must be changed in July.

“There are dangerous times ahead of us because we have failed to do what we needed to do,” he said, adding that the NDC lost the 2012 elections in the last eight months, but noted that there is an opportunity to redeem the country from sinking.