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General News of Monday, 22 December 2003

Source: Chronicle

Siaw's Seized Assets

Many well-meaning Ghanaians continue to appeal to the Kufuor administration to return the seized assets of the late Joshua Kwabena Siaw, popularly known as JK Siaw, and those of other Ghanaians, which were confiscated by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) government.

The latest to join the crusade are some business executives who see the call as a call from all investors and entrepreneurs in the country.

Speaking to a cross-section of the press, led by one Mr. Kwadwo Adonteng Saka, the business executives stated that any positive action by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government would serve as an incentive to the government's call on Ghanaians and others to expand their existing businesses and invest in other areas.

According to them, the experience of the late JK Siaw and others, like him, if not corrected would discourage many Ghanaians from investing in the country since their future would not be certain.

"Siaw's episode continues to hunt and has become a monster to most of us," he stated.

The group, however, commended the government for setting up the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) to enable offended Ghanaians spell out atrocities meted out to them by some previous governments, but added that, solving some problems facing some Ghanaians, needs a bold decision by the current government.

They reminded the government of its electioneering promises to return all assets forcibly seized from their rightful owners by the military governments and said, the long silence by Kufuor's administration on the matter was creating anxiety among the people.

They, therefore, urged the government to break its silence on the matter and take decisive action to appease all and sundry and to give meaning to government's pledge to enhance the private sector of the economy.

Meanwhile, The Chronicle is investigating an alleged pulling of strings by Heineken International BV, owners of the Tata Brewery, one of the late Siaw's properties seized by the AFRC, to prevent the NPP government from taking a decision on the Tata Brewery affair.

A Chronicle source alleged that the announcement by the Ghana Breweries Limited and Guinness Ghana Limited for a proposed merger was one of the various Heineken's ploy to put the breaks on any decision the government might take on the seized Tata Brewery, now called Achimota Brewery Company.