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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Columnist: Adansi-Pipim, Gabriel

Ghana Telecom Sale: The Silent Partners

*Committee Members Say, "Ye Mpene".*
The proposed sale of Ghana Telecom has bogged down is beginning more and more to take on the appearance of the scandal plagued Vodafone purchase of Kenya's Safaricom and its mysterious silent partner Mobitelea.

Some NPP insiders and members of parliament have serious reservations about the involvement of two silent partners/beneficiaries with close relationships to the president who stand to gain substantially by being paid "finder's fees" being a percentage of the sales value of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone in the millions of dollars.

In the case of the Ghana Telecom sale which has been shrouded in secrecy it appears that these silent partners/beneficiaries are Kevin Okyere of Westland Alliance Ltd, who claims to be a nephew of president Kufour and the Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, who is also a relative of the president.

It is the involvement of these two persons in the deal that apparently led to the delay in the approval of government's proposal this past Thursday and Friday as some members of the joint committee on communications and finance were angry and upset that certain persons with connections to the presidency are attempting to enrich themselves before the president leaves office.
As to what exactly the nature and value of their contribution to the deal is shrouded in secrecy. Some members of the joint committee on communications and finance have rebelled and have taken the position that it is in the public interest that a full disclosure be made by government about all the parties involved in the deal as well as the roles played by the parties involved.
They are also demanding that government confirm or deny the roles played by Kevin Okyere and Akoto Osei and whether or not they are being paid substantial commissions and that until government comes clean they will adopt a go slow attitude with the Sale & Purchase agreement.
Gabriel Adansi-Pipim
Cambridge, UK