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General News of Saturday, 21 February 2004

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"President Kufuor is in my pocket" story denied

The Management of Eastern Quarries Limited, Afienya near Tema has denied a report by the "Crusading Guide", a private newspaper, that its Quarry Manager, Mr Valtiero Bolvelacci had said he had the President of the Republic of Ghana in his pocket.

"The Management of Easter Quarries Limited would like to give the assurance that it respects and will continue to respect the High office of the President and therefore will not do anything to bring His Excellency's Name and Office into disrepute."

This was contained in a rejoinder issued in Accra on Friday by the Company's Management and signed by the Human Resource Manager, Alhaji Amadu Sorogo, refuting what it termed as "furious allegations" levelled against Mr Valtiero and the circumstances surrounding the death of one of its workers- Korkuvi Sedzro at Eastern Quarries. The statement stated that the late Sedzro was among a group of workers who reported for work on Sunday, December 21, 2003 and not December 20, as reported by the paper.

It said it was in the course of Sedzro's duties that he met his untimely death when he lost control of the Payloader he was operating and ran into a ditch around 0830 hours on the same day.

The Statement said the Quarry manager had just arrived when the incident was reported to him, after which a report was made to the Afienya Police who quickly rushed there and after initial investigation, including taking of photographs, directed that the body should be removed.

The body was subsequently removed and sent to the Tema General Hospital Mortuary.

The Statement said the Deputy Inspector of Mines came to the Quarry to carry out investigations after a report was made to the Mines Department as well as the Tema Labour Office.

It said one of the workers of the company was also dispatched to inform Sedzro's family about his death.

The statement said whilst the Police and the Mines department were carrying out their investigations, a Testing Officer from the Tema office of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Department (DVLD) came to test the Payloader the late Sedzro lost control of resulting in his death.

It said that series of meeting were held with the family of the deceased, after which it was agreed that burial should take place at Dorymu in the Greater Accra Region on January 10, 2004.

The Statement said that the company took over and paid all expenses incurred from the day Sedzro died to the last funeral rites involving millions of cedis, adding that the company was just about completing the computation of the deceased benefits under the workman compensation with the Tema District labour office.

It said that the management of the company found it strange and disturbing that the Crusading Guide's reporter claimed he only listened to some workers without management's comment, but yet reported the allegations as though they were facts.

"Management wishes to state that it takes exception to such spurious allegations and will therefore do all that it has to protect its name and reputation", the statement said.