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04 February 2017

Week at a glance: Stars break hearts, MPs probe bribery allegation, ministers vetted

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Most Ghanaians woke up Friday infuriated, and the only reason was that the Black Stars failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON final. Although most fans decided not to support the players at the beginning of the tournament, their qualification to the semi-finals led to some supporters having a change of hearts. On Thursday many of them watched the Stars play their semi final match against Cameroon only to suffer another heart break

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Hopes were dashed when the Indomitable Lions scored their first goal in the 72nd minute of the game. But the second goal scored by Christian Bassogog sealed the victory for the Camerooneans. And the very few who stayed on to watch the game into its last minutes were literally unable to get up from their seats.

Related: Ayew admits Ghana were second best against Cameroon

Cameroon will play Egypt in the finals on Sunday, February 5, 2017 and Ghana will settle for a third place match but will look forward and pray for a better show in subsequent tournaments.

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Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu and Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak are all mebers of the Appointment Committee

While the Black Stars were playing, Parliament’s Appointment Committee was busy vetting nominees for ministerial positions. An earlier bribery allegation by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga against Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko raised questions about the Committee’s credibility.

Related: Ablakwa names more witnesses in Appointments C’ttee bribery saga

The issue was taken to Parliament, where the Speaker, Prof. Mike Ocquaye set up a five member committee to probe the allegations. The Committee will be chaired by Railways and Develoment Minister Joe Ghartey which was in itself another bone of contention.

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Within the week, the Appointment Committee was able to vet about nine ministers-designates. They are, Monitoring and Evaluation minister-designate, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei; Gender, Women and Children minister-designate, Otiko Afisa Djaba; Regional Reorganisation and Development, Dan Botwe and Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu.

The rest are Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah; Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; Roads Minister, Kwesi Amoako-Atta; Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda, Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea; Environment, Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Frimpong Boateng; Transport Minister, Kweku Ofori Asiamah and Railways and Development Minister, Joe Ghartey.

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Five of the nominees have been approved. Parliament has set Tuesday, February 7, 2017 to deliberate on the approval of Gender minister-designate Otiko Djaba. The Minority has refused to pass her. A member of the Appointment Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini described the nominee as “abrasive”.

Parliament will sit on Tuesday to decide on the issue.

‘Rain rain go away, go and come again another day..’ this seems to be what Parliamentarians where reciting on Tuesday when a heavy rainstorm disrupted sitting. The storm took away portions of the roof of Parliament and left the House leaking.

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Related: Photos: Bawumia inspects ‘damaged’ Parliament House 

Some media men in the public gallery were spotted collecting the dripping rainwater into empty bottles and rubbish containers.

Vice President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia also made a shocking revelation during the week. He expressed shock over some $13.9 million used for the construction of an official residence for vice presidents. He also said some GHS 7 billion was unaccounted for.

The Vice President made this known at the launch of the Good Corporate Governance Initiative organised by Krif Ghana in collaboration with Action Chapel International and in partnership with the United States Embassy in Accra.

But the opposition NDC will have none of. At a press conference, former Deputy Finance Minister Ato forson said the GHC7 billion expenditure is captured in a special government data system at the Finance Ministry which Dr Mahamudu Bawumia should be aware of.

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They also said the figure quoted by the Vice president as having been used for the construction of the bungalow was inaccurate. They said $5.9 million was rather used.

The devastating news of a school building collapsing on some kindergarten children at the Breman Jaman Methodist School in the Central region also broke within the week.

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The sad incident occurred when the children – aged between 2 to 5 – were preparing to start lessons on Tuesday. Education Minister, Dr Mathew  Opoku Prempeh, who paid a visit to the school after the incident promised to foot the treatment and burial bills of the victims.

Related: Report|Photos: Mass burial for six school children ‘buried’ under school walls

Well, it seems the wounds opened by investigations conducted by Anas Aremeyaw Anas on justices of the supreme and other lower courts refuses to heal. This week one of the judges implicated in the scandal, Mustapha Habib Logoh has sued Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood for contempt.

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He does not understand why the Chief Justice will proceed to begin impeachment proceedings against him when the case is still pending before the court.

Also this week, Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey after careful investigations unveiled troubling activities at ‘Dollar Power’ and ‘Bole Accra’ two border communities in the Northern Region, where Ivorian gunmen are building a gold-powered economy.

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The report reveals the two communities are ‘republics’ in their own right and are run by gunmen, vigilante groups, and gold merchants.

Following the airing of the investigative piece, the police say they will conduct a swoop to flush out the gunmen.

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On Friday, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) made an alarming revelation. They found out that a community kindergarten school in the Brong Ahafo Region, paid for with proceeds from Ghana’s oil does not exist.

According to them, the 245,082 cedis project, which is said to have been completed in June 2014 in a small farming community at Dabaabi does not exist.

 

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