The Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Vitus Azeem, has reiterated that, the President appears to be seeing nothing wrong with the actions of the health Minister but he must as a matter of honor and accountability resign and also says that, there is an element of corruption in the admission of error by the Heath Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu.
The Minister of Health in February this year signed a contract with Sheik Al Maktoum for the supply of 3.4m doses of Sputnik vaccines.
The contract, as signed were met with red flags as it appears to in contravention of article 181 (5) of the 1992 constitution because the Minister failed to sought for Parliamentary approval as per the article, every international agreement must go through Parliamentary approval.
The Minister, responding to questions from members of a Parliamentary committee set up to probe the contract with Sheik Al Maktoum, the Minister admitted his failure to go through due process prior to the approval and hinged his reasons on the infection and death rates at the time. He said there was pressure on him to salvage the situation and on hindsight, he admits his error.
Mr Vitus Azeem, an anti-graft campaigner, has suggested that, the public admission of error by the health Minister alone is an enough basis for him to resign.
Speaking with Alfred Ocansey on yesterday’s TV3 evening news, the Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative said; “My problem with Parliamentary investigations is; you are investigating your own colleague and from past experiences, you do not always expect much to come out of it. I do not really think the Minister really need to wait for investigations to come out with a report. His admission alone should be enough for him to say; oh I think I have done the wrong thing and I am bowing out as the Minister of Health. It is the best and honest thing for him to do because he had admitted publicly that what he did was wrong. So what happens? Should we just forget? From past experiences, I do not expect the President to say go. We have had incidents in some countries, where an incident which does not involve the Minister responsible in that sector decides to step aside. And so this admission should be enough for him to resign”.
He was further asked if he was worried about the silence of the appointment authority and he reiterated; “Yes I think so. As for the silence of the appointing authority, it is not anything new. He does not even see anything wrong with that and especially in this case, they will use excuses like, it was an emergency because of the Covid19 and that kind of thing. So I expect the President to say go but he himself having being the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and has been in Parliament for quite some time and should call for his replacement. I would be surprised if the President sacks him because it appears it would not happen”.
On whether he looks forward to the President setting up a committee to probe the matter further, he expressed his doubts and indicated it is likely for the Minister to remain at post and nothing would happen even after the Parliamentary Committee’s report. He also said there is a likely act of corruption in the deal.
Should the Minister resign?
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