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Opinions of Friday, 1 July 2016

Columnist: Asiedu, Daniel

Who Paid Rawlings' children's school fees

Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings has resurrected the question of who paid the expensive school fees of her own four children abroad as she told Star FM drive time host Bola Ray on Wednesday June 29 2016 that she Nana Konadu Agyeman – Rawlings had to financially support Komla Dumor by paying the university of Ghana school fees for the late ace BBC broadcaster to enable him complete the university.

However, that claim has been dismissed as utter falsehood by family of Komla Dumor in a swift reaction through a statement signed in Accra by Dr Korshie S. Dumor, sister of the late broadcaster for an on behalf of the Dumor family.

''It has come to the attention of the Dumor Family that a statement has been made in public circles {by Nana Konadu Agyeman – Rawlings} regarding my late brother Mr Komla Dumor. As he is no longer here to respond for himself, we are compelled to set the record straight'' the statement said.

'It has been suggested', the statement continues, 'that Komla received assistance in paying his University fees. Let me state without any equivocation: This is patently false'.

The Dumor family clarified with the following academic facts about the late Komla Dumor:

1. Cost sharing between the Government of Ghana 70% and three sources, University Internally Generated Funds, Private Donations, and Students Tuitions making up the remaining 30% were introduced into tertiary education in Ghana in 1997. Payment of Students Fees started in 1998.

2. Komla graduated from the University of Ghana with a BA in Psychology and Sociology in June 1998 with honours.

3. By the time Student Fees were introduced, Komla had already graduated from the University of Ghana. He was therefore never in a position to be required to pay fees, to begin with.

4. By 1997 a year before graduating from University, Komla was the Lead Presenter of Joy FM's Super Morning Show and was earning a decent salary. Financially he recognized that he was privileged to be on a much more stable footing compared to many of his peers. He would, therefore, have no need to request assistance from anyone to cover costs associated with his time at the University of Ghana Legon.

5. In June 2003 Komla graduated from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in Boston, after receiving a full scholarship from The Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program. He finished as the Class Valedictorian.

The Dumor Family also added, 'It is clear that Komla required no additional financial assistance from any individual and should any need have arisen, he would have had the support of his parents to refer to'.

Now that it has become clear that the late Komla Dumor did not even have to pay university school fees at all, the question now arises why the former first lady who, with her husband, Jerry John Rawlings, have in the past claimed that their own children's school fees abroad had to be paid by 'good Samaritan friends' will now lie about paying other people's children's school fees.

The four Rawlings children – Zanetor Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings, Amina Rawlings and Kimathi Rawlings – have all attended very expensive schools in Europe at an estimated cost of over USD$ 1M. When Ghanaians questioned the sources of such colossal sums of money, if not for corruption, the Rawlings' replied that their 'good Samaritan friends' paid for their children's education.

Did the Rawlings' lie about the source of money for their own children's school fees abroad just as Mrs. Rawlings is lying now about paying for Komla Dumor? It may be revealing to go back to how the Rawlings' managed to find an estimated USD$ 1M to pay for all their four (4) children none of whom has made any service contribution to Ghana with their highly expensive European education.

According to public records which have been available since June 2000 Amina and Kimathi, the last two Rawlings children both attend the elitist Millfield School in England, as full time fee-paying boarding students. This began in September 2000.

A scrutiny of Millfield school official records show at the time that, levels of annual tuition and boarding fees charged at the school were 15,360 pounds for boarders and 6,705 pounds for day students and the fees were paid in advance.

Amina Rawlings, according to the search, joined the school as a full time boarding pupil in September 2000 on a two-year Advanced level course. She completed the course and examination in June 2002 and went on to study law.

Kimathi Rawlings on his part, joined the prestigious elitist school as a full time pupil in September 2000, in the Third Form. He also completed his course in July 2003.

Zenetor and Yaa Asantewaa went to school in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The former went to the School of Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. She has currently put the practice of medicine aside to run for parliament in Ghana.

Tuition fees paid by foreign students, including Zanetor Rawlings was 15,000 pounds sterling a year. The annual tuition fees, sources intimated, was subject to increases between the ranges of 5-7 per cent per annum. Zanetor Rawlings was in college for over five years to become a doctor.

Yaa Asantewaa Agyeman-Rawlings, according to available public records, graduated with a BA in social studies at Trinity College, University of Dublin. She enrolled at the College in September 1999, and pursued a four-year course. The tuition fees payable by all foreign students including Yaa Asantewaa was 7,517 pounds sterling a year.

The total USD$ 1M estimate for tuition fees alone for the four Rawlings children's education in England and Ireland raises serious questions about how "the Rawlingses" had financed the "expensive education" of their children abroad. Who paid for their luxury accommodations? Who paid for their expensive lifestyles abroad? could it have been done without state funds?

Mrs. Rawlings went on record twice or trice to say that some "good Samaritan" friends of theirs have been footing the bill on their behalf.

Today however, the same Mrs. Rawlings wants Ghanaians to believe that whiles some 'good Samaritan friends' paid for her children because her {Rawlings} family could not legitimately afford the fees, she could at the same time afford to pay for the fees of Komla Dumor, who, it has now been revealed, didn't even have to pay school fees. This contradiction has exposed obvious lies from Nana Konadu Agyeman - Rawlings who recently said that she will never lie or steal from the people of Ghana.

Observers are now wondering if the former first lady and the Rawlings family have ever told any truth when it comes to answering questions about their involvement in corruption and the source of their family wealth and how they continue to live luxuriously today without any real and functioning businesses, jobs or inherited estate.

Source: Asiedu Daniel

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