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General News of Friday, 7 September 2018

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Prosecute arsonists behind CMS fire or exonerate them - Former Minister

Former Minister of Health and now MP for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh is demanding for the report on the Central Medical Stores arson, which occurred some few years ago.

The legislator said he is not only looking for the report but the two reports on the cause of fire and circumstances leading to the burning down of the CMS.

He told Rainbow Radio the case was of national interest and Ghanaians are waiting for the final report on the cause of fire and sanctions proposed for those who carried out the act.

"This is why I am calling for the report,’’ he added. When asked why he is now requesting for the report and why his party failed to act on the matter, the former minister expressed his displeasure at the question and quizzed if that should prevent him from demanding for the report.

The current Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in 2017 revealed that investigations into the fire that tore through the country’s biggest drug storage facility have been completed, two years after the incident.

Mr Yieleh Chireh felt it was not proper for him to be referred to the previous administration adding, ‘’that is not the point but the point is what we have to do’’.

He has called on the police administration to allow the suspects who were accused to be taken through the due processes so they are either exonerated or pinned for the offence.

He said the report has been submitted to Auditor-General, Daniel Domelovo for a forensic audit to be conducted into the findings. Ghana lost an estimated $80 million worth of drugs and medical equipment when fire destroyed the Central Medical Store located at Tema in 2015. An interim probe by the past administration established “arson” to be the cause of the fire.

A labourer at the facility, Samuel Dogbe was named as the suspected arsonist allegedly paid to set the fire in the store. Although 12 officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) were interdicted, no one has been prosecuted.

Former United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson in March this year called for the prosecution of individuals responsible for the arson act.

According to him, commodities worth about 80 million dollars were lost in flames and the culprits are walking freely although their identities are known.

“I personally have been very troubled that no one has been prosecuted about the Tema Central Medical Stores fire because we saw almost 80 million worth of commodities got into flames, we know who the culprits were; those people should be in jail by now.’’

The former United Kingdom (UK) High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin in June 2017 disclosed that the UK Parliament was concerned about the CMS fire because the UK pumped about 4 million Pounds worth of medicines into the Medical store, which were later, destroyed by the fire, hence the interest of the UK Parliament in the case.

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