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General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2018


DTT Saga: Ursula now Minister for Chinese affairs – Ras Mubarak

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Member of Parliament for the people of Kumbungu in the Northern Region, Hon. Ras Mubarak has concluded that the Minister of Communications, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is serving the interest of China in the saga relating to Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Platform (DTT).

He accuses the Communications Minister of being the mouthpiece for the Chinese business entity by openly defending and justifying reasons why Digital Terrestrial Platform should be taken from the Ghanaian company and handed over to a Chinese company.

The Ministry of Communications has announced that Ghana’s Digital Terrestrial Platform (DTT) infrastructure will be managed as a commercial entity.

It will be incorporated as the Central Digital Transmission Company Limited (CDTCL) and governed by a board, the ministry has explained.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the board would be constituted with representatives from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the creative arts industry, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communications, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the CEO of the CDTCL.

In its statement, the ministry denied claims that the government intended to hand over Ghana’s DTT platform to StarTimes, a Chinese firm.

It said the “ministry wishes to state emphatically that it has in no way committed to and does not intend to hand over the management of the DTT infrastructure platform to any third party”.

“The ministry has not reneged on its framework for managing the DTT platform and wish to reiterate that the ministry has no intention of allowing StarTimes or any foreign entity to manage the platform,” the statement stressed.

Commenting on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Ras Mubarak said the explanation offered by the Ministry of Communications does not exonerate the Minister from the claim that she is seeking to take the contract from K-NET, Ghanaian company to Chinese company StarTimes.

He alleged that the contract which was given to StarTimes did not go through competitive bidding, adding that even part of K-NET contract was given out to foreign entities without the consultation of stakeholders.

“The First Lady of the Republic (Rebecca Akufo-Addo) is dancing with StarTimes where her foundation is receiving support from StarTimes. It tells you the kind of problems we have in our country; it is corruption, corruption 101. So who is the minister to say she won’t give StarTimes the contract? Because the First Lady is dancing with StarTimes,” he asserted.

Ras Mubarak however described Ursula Owusu as “minister of Communications and Chinese Affairs" since he believed "she is protecting the interest of Chinese business people”.

“This Akufo-Addo government is not protecting the interest of Ghanaian entrepreneurs; they are protecting the interest of their foreign friends and I want us to change the minister’s name and call her minister of Communications and Chinese Affairs...”.

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