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General News of Monday, 3 September 2007

Source: Enquirer

SCANCEM Bribe: New Twist!

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... Kufuor Took Biggest Chunk…
... He received in 1996, 2000 and 2004
... Scancem financed Kume preko demo

Accra (Enquirer) -- The dragnet of Scancem's bribery spree in Ghana seems to be widening, with latest revelations from a top official of the company that our beloved President Kufuor, then candidate Kufuor was not just tainted in the bribery, but he took the largest chunk of it. The official said categorically that because of the difficulties the company was facing in convincing the political leadership at the time to ensure that they remain the sole manufacturers of cement in Ghana, they chose to give all the support necessary to leaders of the largest opposition party at the time.

The official, who was in the country recently, also revealed that, apart from the NPP, other political parties such as the National Reform Party, also enjoyed some of the largess of Scancem's bribery slush fund.

The official added that during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections of 1996, 2000, and the 2004, the Norwegians, through a high ranking member of the current government, who was more or less the connection tape between the President and Scancem, sent huge financial assistance to Mr. Kufuor to fight their electoral battles.

He also alleged that SCANCEM also played very important roles, in terms of financial support for the numerous demonstrations that rocked the country’s regional capitals, including the Kume Preko and Sieme Preko demonstrations, before the elections of 2000.

The official noted that because the NDC government had began the process of allowing Diamond Cement to establish in Ghana, the company focused its payments on the opposition parties “ so that once the NDC government was out of power, the incoming government could make it possible for Ghacem to remain as the main producer of the commodity,” He emphasised that at that time, such payments were legitimate.

According to him, Scancem's beef with the NDC was rather because the Jerry Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress government strongly pushed for the establishment of another company, Diamond Cement, to manufacture cement. “I can tell you in all confidence that the company received a lot of favourable assurance from the then candidate Kufuor to the effect that a future NPP government would do all possible to ensure SCANCEM remained the largest ahead in the business,” he said. He indicated that the company made several attempts at influencing high ranking officials of the NDC, including the then Trade and Industry Minister, also the MP for Keta, to push for Ghacem’s continued monopoly, but to no avail.

But The Enquirer's independent source in Norway insists that even if some officials did not accept the money, there is no doubt that some received monies from Scancem. He conceded that, because it was not illegal at the time, as far as the Norwegian legal system was concerned, there was nothing wrong to influence the political leadership across the world, especially in Africa, to pave way for the cement company to remain the only manufacturer of cement.

This revelation comes in the wake of counter-revelations from sections of the Ghanaian media which lists Ex-President Rawlings, his wife Nana Konadu and former Presidential Advisor P.V. Obeng as some of the recipients of the money.

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